Monitors at Glenelg reappointed amid ‘behaviours of concern’

Victoria’s local government minister has re-appointed monitors at Glenelg Shire after they reported that tensions remain at the troubled regional council.

Melissa Horne

Jim Gifford and Steven Kingshott will remain at Glenelg to support good governance and oversee recruitment for a permanent CEO, Melissa Horne says.

The two monitors were appointed to the council for three months last October after Mayor Scott Marin raised concerns about the functioning of the council and his inability to foster functional relations between councillors and the CEO.

Three councillors and two CEOs had resigned in the 12 months leading to Cr Marin’s request, with the most recent resignations arising from a spat over Christmas lights.

The monitors’ report says the council has made progress, but there are still ‘behaviours of concern’ in relation to councillor conduct and tensions remain.

“We have concerns that changes to behaviours can be slow and may require longer term monitoring,” they report.

Ms Horne said the report makes it clear that work is  still needed to improve governance polices, processes and practices.

“The re-appointment of the two monitors will ensure governance improvements are fully implemented and ensure stability during the October 2024 elections and recruitment of a new Chief Executive Officer,” Ms Horne said.

However, Mr Kingshot and Mr Gifford raise concerns about finding suitable CEO in their report.

“We do have a concern regarding the ability of the Council to attract quality candidates, given the issues highlighted within this report and potential perceptions within the local government industry,” they write.

“Also, Glenelg’s geographic isolation presents its own issues and may further restrict the candidate pool.”

Mr Kingshott will end his term four weeks after a CEO is appointed while Mr Gifford will stay on until December 31.

The Victorian government is currently reforming the state’s Local Government Act and will introduce new legislation before the local government elections in October.

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