Melbourne council's harassment crackdown

City of Melbourne councillors are likely to adopt a new code of conduct following a sexual harassment scandal involving former lord mayor Robert Doyle.

The changes aim to improve processes for future complainants, following an investigation upholding multiple allegations brought by two women against Mr Doyle.

Councillors are due to decide whether to adopt the new code of conduct at a special meeting on Tuesday night.

Under the changes, a councillor being formally investigated for alleged harassment or bullying would be required to take leave until the probe's completion.

Also, failing to participate in internal dispute resolution may amount to misconduct under the Local Government Act.

An "independent respectful conduct advisor" would be appointed to help councillors understand their rights and obligations.

These changes were proposed after Councillor Cathy Oke and her former colleague Tessa Sullivan accused Mr Doyle of sexual misconduct.

An independent investigation in March upheld some of their claims, including that Mr Doyle grabbed Ms Sullivan's breast while the pair were in a chauffer-driven mayoral car in 2017.

The former mayor was also found to have put his hand on Ms Oke's thigh several times in 2014, and attempted to kiss her in his office following a meeting in late 2016 or early 2017, the report found.

All incidents were found to have occurred after Mr Doyle consumed "substantial amounts of red wine".

The investigation cost the City of Melbourne more than $600,000 and prompted the removal of alcohol from the offices of the lord and deputy mayors.

Councillors also voted to take proposed law changes to the Municipal Association of Victoria, including a requirement that all councillors accused of sexual harassment be immediately stood aside.

Mr Doyle quit as mayor in February and continues to deny all allegations.

His successor is due to be announced on May 21, following a by-election contested by 14 candidates.