• The situation with the Board of Inquiry into the Glenorchy City Council is now at farcical levels.
• It is costing the rate payers $18,250 per week while the Board of Inquiry continues.
• The Minister has done all in his power, but legislative change is needed to ensure that this never occurs again.
Today’s events have only solidified the farcical situation that is occurring in relation to the Glenorchy City Council.
However, what it does do is solidify the strong position that I have taken in holding Council management, and other Aldermen around the Council table, to account on significant governance concerns.
The Board of Inquiry has been running for the past 624 days and over that time the costs of the inquiry, legal fees and costs of senior staff on indefinite leave has been upwards $18,250 per week. This is an absolute disgrace.
Those holding up the process should allow the Board to finalise the report and let the Minister consider its findings.
It is a sad situation that we find ourselves in this position.
However, it seems that there is limited other alternative process within the Local Government Act to deal with a council under suspect of mal-administration.
It appears that there are only two mechanisms to dismiss councillors from their role, being via a Board of Inquiry, or the outcome of a review by the Local Government Board.
Legislative change is needed; and should happen immediately to ensure that a situation such as this cannot occur again.
I whole heartedly stand behind suspended Mayor Johnston’s continued call to that the Council needs to be “cleaned out”.
If the reprehensible behaviour of some of the Aldermen and Senior Managers means the Board of Inquiry process will be stuck in court battles, I call on the Minister to enact change to the legislation to allow a clear process for Council dismissal to occur.
Fresh elections need to be called at the first available opportunity, and if the minster needs to allow this to occur via legislative change, he should progress that as a matter of urgency.