Tougher conduct code for Melbourne council

Christine McGinn

City of Melbourne councillors will have to adhere to a new behavioural standard after an unanimous vote to update the code of conduct.

Changes to the code were proposed after two female councillors accused former lord mayor Robert Doyle of sexual harassment, in a scandal that rocked town hall.

An investigation found he'd engaged in misconduct.

The revised behavioural guidelines will force a councillor under investigation for harassment or bullying to take leave until the probe's completion.

An independent advisor would also be appointed to help councillors understand their rights and obligations, under the code adopted on Tuesday night.

Councillors who do not participate in internal dispute resolution could also be found guilty of misconduct under the Local Government Act.

Councillor Cathy Oke, one of the complainants, told AAP the new code was an "important milestone" for the council and sent a clear message.

"I am proud of how we have worked together to develop a code that reinforces our commitment to the community but also to each other," she said prior to the meeting.

Mr Doyle stood down from his role earlier this year and denies all allegations.

Melbourne's next lord mayor will be announced on May 21.