Commission Of Inquiry Appointed To Geelong

Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins has appointed an independent Commission of Inquiry into the City of Greater Geelong.

The Commission will comprise of Mr Terry Moran AC, Ms Jude Munro AO and Ms Frances O’Brien SC who will undertake an inquiry into the adequacy of the current governance structures at Geelong City Council. Their appointment concludes on 31 March 2016.

The announcement comes after Susan Halliday’s Workplace Cultural Review which found significant concerns relating to current culture and structures

The inquiry will look at a range of matters including;

  • If there is sufficient clarity in the roles and responsibilities at all levels within Council
  • The efficiency and effectiveness of governance arrangements in delivering services to constituents
  • The relationship between matters identified by Susan Halliday and the governance of the city

Section 10 of Local Government Act provides the inquiry with broad ranging powers including summoning witnesses, requiring the production of documents and full access to the Council and its documents

The chair of the Commission of Inquiry, Mr Moran, brings considerable public administrative experience. Ms Munro is a former Council CEO and Ms O’Brien is a barrister experienced in the interviewing of witnesses and the forensic examination of evidence.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins

“The Halliday Report revealed some deep flaws in the Geelong City Council.”

“Whilst the Council put plans into action to reform the organisational culture it is incumbent on the State Government to take action to ensure the city has the first class governance it deserves.”

“I want to make sure that the Council is set up to provide the leadership necessary to ensure this never happens again and it is held accountable.”