The Andrews Labor Government has appointed three administrators to run the City of Greater Geelong in place of the council, which was dismissed in April.
The council was dismissed following a three-month investigation by an independent Commission of Inquiry into its governance, administration and culture.
The Commission of Inquiry concluded that the council was dysfunctional, unable to provide long-term vision for the city and riddled with internal conflict and a culture of bullying.
The administrators are:
- Dr Kathy Alexander (Chair): an experienced CEO, board director and consultant and former City of Melbourne CEO for more than six years. Dr Alexander was CEO of Women’s and Children’s Health, which governed the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) and the Royal Women’s Hospital (RWH). Dr Alexander is a former South Australian Telstra Businesswoman of the Year and chair of not-for-profit organisations. As Chair she will fulfil the role of Mayor.
- Peter Dorling: business manager at Avalon Airport, a director of the Victorian Regional Panels Authority, a member of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre Trust and the former executive director of the Committee for Geelong. He has considerable experience providing strategic planning and leadership for the Geelong community. He will cease to be the chair of the Geelong Authority.
- Laurinda Gardner: former senior government executive and experienced member of not-for-profit, state and local government boards. Ms Gardner is currently the Deputy Chair of the Metropolitan Planning Authority and also works as a leadership and change management consultant.
The panel takes over from interim administrator Yehudi Blacher, who has been working with the CEO and staff since the council was dismissed.
The administrators will now work to implement the full range of recommendations made by the Commission of Inquiry into Greater Geelong City Council that are required to remedy longstanding cultural, governance and structural problems.
They will remain in place until the next council elections are held in October 2017.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins
“The appointment of the administrators is about returning good governance to the people of Geelong and a safe working environment to council staff.”
“Geelong deserves to have a competent and productive elected council, but first the administrators must get in and fix the serious problems the Commission of Inquiry uncovered.”
“I thank the interim administrator Mr Yehudi Blacher for stepping in and supporting the Geelong community during this critical time.”