Costs could hit $50,000

ISSUES: Councillor Julian Fidge looks over documents at Tuesday night's meeting.

COSTS of the numerous inquiries and investigations at council are expected to skyrocket above the $50,000 mark.

The revelation came at Tuesday night’s ordinary council meeting, when former councillor, Lauren McCully, asked council to reveal the costs in public question time.

But the figure has been disputed by Cr Julian Fidge, who is at the centre of the inquiries.

The Rural City of Wangaratta is currently the subject of an inquiry by the local government investigations and compliance inspectorate, while probity auditor Bill Scales is overseeing an internal investigation into a complaint by Cr Fidge against council’s chief executive officer, Doug Sharp.

A councillor conduct panel has also been appointed by the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), with the two members of that panel charging a combined $1600 per day.

It has also been confirmed a second panel will be formed following a complaint by Mayor Rozi Parisotto against Cr Fidge.

Mrs McCully, who infamously fell out with Cr Parisotto over a preference deal gone wrong during the last election campaign, asked how much it was costing ratepayers.

“In recent months there’s been discussion about saving money in regards to consultants around this table,” she said.

“In recent weeks there’s been comments the councillor code of conduct panel will cost this council up to $1700 per day.

This post is part of the thread: Council Dramas – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

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