1. About the Tribunal
The Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal provides transparent, accountable and evidence-based decision-making in relation to the remuneration of Members of the Parliament of Victoria (MPs), Victorian public sector executives and elected local government officials.
The Tribunal is established under the Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal and Improving Parliamentary Standards Act 2019 (Vic) (VIRTIPS Act).
The Minister responsible for the Tribunal in 2022-23 was the Minister for Government Services. In performing its functions, the Tribunal must act independently and impartially and is not subject to the control or direction of any person, including the Minister.
1.1 Functions of the Tribunal
The VIRTIPS Act requires the Tribunal to inquire into and make determinations in relation to [reference - VIRTIPS Act, s. 6(1)]:
- salaries and work-related parliamentary allowances for MPs
- remuneration bands for executives employed in public service bodies
- remuneration bands for executives employed in prescribed public entities
- allowances for elected local government officials — Mayors, Deputy Mayors and Councillors.
Amongst other functions, the VIRTIPS Act also provides the Tribunal with powers to:
- make guidelines with respect to the use of work-related parliamentary allowances and the Electorate Office and Communications Budget (EO&C Budget) for MPs [reference - VIRTIPS Act, s. 36(1)]
- issue guidelines with respect to the placement of public sector executives within the remuneration bands determined by the Tribunal [reference - VIRTIPS Act, ss. 6(1)(e) and 6(1)(h)]
- provide advice for proposals to pay executives above the relevant remuneration band set by a Determination [reference - VIRTIPS Act, ss. 6(1)(i) and 37(1)]
- provide advice to the Minister on any matter relating to the remuneration of any specified occupational group [reference - VIRTIPS Act, s. 6(1)(l)].
1.2 Tribunal Members
The Tribunal consists of up to three Tribunal members. A Secretariat, which sits within the Department of Premier and Cabinet, supports the work of the Tribunal.
Warren McCann - Tribunal Chair
Mr McCann has an extensive public service career, with senior appointments in Victoria, South Australia and at the Commonwealth level, including as Chief Executive Officer of the South Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet, Commissioner for Public Sector Employment in South Australia and as Secretary of the former Victorian Departments of Justice and Human Services. Mr McCann is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Public Administration.
Mr McCann has been a Member of the Tribunal since its inception.
The Honourable Jennifer Acton – Tribunal Member
Ms Acton has significant workplace relations experience, including as a former Presidential Member of Australia's national workplace relations tribunal.
She is currently the Chair of the Victorian State Trustees Ltd, the Port of Hastings Corporation and LeavePlus. In addition to being a lawyer and economist, Ms Acton is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Ms Acton has been a Member of the Tribunal since its inception.
Laurinda Gardner – Tribunal Member
Ms Gardner is a board director, organisational reform and change management consultant and career coach. She has over 25 years senior executive experience and was formerly a Deputy Secretary with the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance and a Director at the City of Melbourne. She has led large operational teams in diverse areas including strategic and business planning, HR, IT, communications, town planning, stakeholder engagement, finance and risk.
Ms Gardner has performed the role of trusted adviser to several Chief Executive Officers, was an Administrator at the City of Greater Geelong, is currently on the Boards of the Victorian Planning Authority and the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, and is a member of several remuneration, and audit and risk committees.
Ms Gardner commenced as a Member of the Tribunal in September 2022.
1.3 Annual report requirements
The VIRTIPS Act specifies that the Tribunal is to prepare, as soon as practicable after the end of each financial year (and no later than 31 October), an annual report to the Minister about the following activities in the previous 12 months [reference - VIRTIPS Act, s. 40.]:
- information about the number of Determinations made by the Tribunal
- details of any disclosure of an interest recorded in the minutes of a meeting of the Tribunal under section 14(4) of the VIRTIPS Act
- a review of the operations of the Tribunal, including the work undertaken by the Tribunal
- the number of MPs who have not complied with requests for further information by the Compliance Officer in the preceding year in relation to Determinations about separation payments
- the number of appeals heard by the Compliance Officer in the preceding year in relation to separation payments and the outcome of the appeals
- the number of MPs who have not complied with requests for further information by the Compliance Officer in the preceding year in relation to appeals relating to work-related parliamentary allowances and the EO&C Budget
- the number of appeals heard by the Compliance Officer in the preceding year in relation to appeals relating to work-related parliamentary allowances and the EO&C Budget and the outcome of the appeals
- a report on the performance of the function of the Compliance Officer in the preceding year
- any other prescribed matter.
These matters are addressed in this report.