Accepting the findings of the Victorian Ombudsman George Brouwer the Minister for Local Government, Richard Wynne, announced that a dedicated investigative unit within Local Government Victoria will work on monitoring the council.
“The Government accepts in full the recommendations contained within the report and they will be implemented,” Wynne said.
“Local Government plays an essential role in the life of our communities and the people of Victoria need to have the upmost faith in their elected representatives.
“We will take decisive action to address this behaviour.”
The Victorian Ombudsman found the Labor-run Brimbank City Council to be “dysfunctional and marked by in-fighting and interpersonal conflicts”.
Brouwer took aim at councillors’ conflict of interest, which “included placing their private interests first and using their positions to obtain confidential information”.
“It was clear that the council had split into two groups, the ‘ruling faction’ and the minority councillors, and that the council was unable to govern as a whole,” the Ombudsman said.
“The Inspector will initially be assigned until the next council election in November 2012, after which a decision will be made as to whether the monitoring should be extended.”
• Complete the process of establishing a dedicated investigative unit within Local Government Victoria noting that two key appointments, a Manager of Investigations and a Senior Inspector have been recruited already;
• Complete the already commenced implementation of a documented process to record the formal assessment of complaints; and
• Examine the best way to provide all councils guidance on remuneration packages of outgoing CEOs.
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