Minutes of council meetings were created in accordance with section 145 of the Municipal Institutions Act 1863 (27 Vic., No.184) and with subsequent legislation relating to local government including the Local Government Act 1958 (No.6299). Many local government bodies in existence prior to 1863 maintained records of their meetings in the form of minutes.
These acts have required that for each meeting of council, minutes of all proceedings are recorded together with the names of all councillors present and all who vote for and against motions. The master set of minutes is also required to be signed by the mayor or chairman of the meeting once the minutes have been confirmed at the following council meeting. The minutes relate to the wide range of activities for which the council is responsible, including building, community services, collection of rates, property valuation and town planning.
The committee system is employed by most Victorian councils. The Local Government Act 1903 (No.1893) removed the requirement that separate committee minutes be kept and introduced the requirement that committees' reports to council be included in the council minutes. In some cases, the minutes of committees are recorded in the council minute books, either in lieu of or in addition to committee reports. Where committee minutes were maintained in separate volumes they constitute a separate series from the council minutes.