Burnside to face full investigation

By Rob O’Brien
The Local Government Association (LGA) of South Australia has backed a probe into a council accused of bullying, undue influence and defamation.

Burnside Council will face an independent investigation led by former auditor-general Ken MacPherson, it was announced this week.

Local Government minister Gail Gago made preliminary inquiries into the council after its chief executive, who is now back in his job, resigned last month over claims of an unsafe working environment.

Responding to the announcement President of the LGA Mayor Felicity-ann Lewis said she recognised that the minister was proceding with the investigation as guided under the Local Government Act, but added that the association would continue to offer support for the council.

“It is important to highlight that this is not an Anti-Corruption Branch investigation, it is an investigation under Section 272 of the Local Government Act based on the Minister’s belief that the Council has ‘contravened or failed to comply with a provision of this or another Act; or failed to discharge a responsibility under this or another Act or that an irregularity has occurred in the conduct of the affairs’ of the Council,” she said in a statement.

In announcing the probe Gago said that the investigation should be a reminder to all councils.

“The powers under the Local Government Act allow for a range of actions if breaches are found, that includes directing the council to fix problems right through to sacking the council and putting in an administrator,” she said.

A statement from the council said that the investigation would show it had complied with relevant laws and fulfilling its responsibilities to ratepayers.

MacPherson will report back to the South Australian Government by the end of October. The findings will be publicly released.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at editorial@governmentnews.com.au.  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required