South Gippsland Shire Council Update

The Andrews Labor Government has today issued a notice to the South Gippsland Shire seeking a response as to why it should not be suspended following a recommendation from the Municipal Monitor to the Council.

Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek has received the final report from Municipal Monitor Peter Stephenson in relation to the governance and performance of the South Gippsland Shire Council.

The Monitor has recommended the Council be suspended in accordance with section 219 of the Local Government Act 1989 and an administrator be appointed. The Monitor also recommended that at the end of the suspension the Councillors be required to undertake governance training.

The council has 28-days to provide submissions about issues raised in the final report and steps taken to address those issues. The final report and the response from the council will be made public after this period has lapsed.

The Minister will determine whether further action is required following an assessment of the final report, careful consideration of any council submissions and any other relevant considerations.

The Monitor assessed the Council against the eight pillars of the Framework for Good Governance established by the Commission of Inquiry into the Greater Geelong Council and found that the Council is performing poorly against the following pillars:

  • Direction and Leadership
  • Culture and Behaviour
  • Decision-Making

The Monitor also noted the Council has lost the support of a large section of the local community and has been beset by internal crises, with four Councillors resigning.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Adem Somyurek

“It’s important we get this right by making well-informed decisions in the best interests of the South Gippsland community.”

“The Council needs time out to reflect on its failure to provide good governance in the best interests of the South Gippsland community.”

“This will be a chance for the Council to work out how to work constructively as a team and build faith with the local community.”