I would like to sincerely thank all residents and ratepayers who contributed to the Mayoral Legal Expenses Fund. In particular, I would like to pay a special thanks to the trustees of the Fund. The trustees have now provided to me an important financial contribution towards meeting the legal costs of the Mayor in fulfilling his role and functions.
Huon Valley Council Insurer has also finalised a major contribution to the legal costs of the Mayor. The details of this settlement are confidential and the trustees were provided with detailed information to finalise the matter. I fully agreed with the Trustees on the amount of part payment of the Mayors legal costs and that the balance of the funds was to be provided to Huon Valley Ratepayers and Residents Association to improve the governance of the Huon Valley Council.
I wish to also convey my sincere thanks to all residents and ratepayers who supported my candidature for Mayor in October 2014 and all those people who have worked so hard to create a more open and transparent Council. The work of the Trustees and those who contributed to the Fund has enabled natural justice and procedural fairness to be applied to the role and functions of the Mayor.
The Board of Inquiry Report identified the need for Council to be more open and transparent. My election in October 2014 demonstrated that ratepayers also supported a more open and transparent Council. The Commissioner and the current management of Council have made significant and very good progress in this regard. I was personally very disappointed in the sacking of the Council by the Minister, but it was the only option for a dysfunctional Council, where some councillors were not prepared to work in a cooperative manner.
It is now up to the voters to elect new and fresh Councillors who will support the new management of Council and the very good ground work the Commissioner has put in place.
I do not intend to nominate for Council in the upcoming elections in October 2018. The long-term future of the Huon Valley Council in my view, will be best served by electing a new and fresh group of independent Councillors.