Perry puts Port Macquarie elections on ice

By Staff Writer

Local elections for Port-Macquarie-Hastings Council will not take place until 2012, the NSW Minister for Local Government has told parliament.

Port Macquarie-Hastings was sacked last year by the Minister and placed under administration after the mishandling of a project initiated in 2001 to build a cultural and entertainment centre.

Answering a question by Member for Port Macquarie, Peter Besseling, the Minister Barbara Perry told parliament that ratepayers and residents of the area deserved a better government.

“The power to dismiss a council is used only in circumstances in which a council is clearly failing to undertake its responsibilities to its community and when all other avenues have been exhausted,” Perry said in her response.

A public inquiry launched in 2007 found that the council had failed to provide appropriate financial and project management and had lost control of the costs of the project.

The council had also failed to initiate a proper consultation with the public and showed inappropriate regard to their concerns.

"The decision to dismiss the council was made following a long and expensive process dating back to 2005," Perry said. 

"That process was undertaken following concerns being raised in relation to the council’s handling of the Port Macquarie-Hastings Conference and Entertainment Centre, which many members would know as the Glasshouse.

"It was a very difficult decision to make, but it was done for the most genuine reasons. In Port Macquarie particularly, it was done because the council failed to undertake its responsibilities to its community.

"I am able to state definitely that all other avenues were exhausted in an attempt to avoid placing the council under administration."

"The Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is under administration because this government knows that the residents and ratepayers of Port Macquarie deserve responsible financial management from the council."

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published.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