McInerney quits, State Government inspector appointed to oversee council

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COUNCILLOR Lisa McInerney has resigned from the Rural City of Wangaratta.

Her resignation is the latest in council dramas have escalated to the point of the State Government appointing an Inspector of Municipal Administration to oversee council activities and performance for three months.

Local Government Minister, Jeanette Powell, said she appointed Peter Stephenson to the role “to deal with a myriad of problems that have undermined the operation of the Wangaratta council”.

Mr Stephenson has more than 20 years experience in senior roles in health and community services, academia and has previously served as a local government councillor and mayor.

“Mr Stephenson will report directly to me on the conduct of the council, including councillors and officers,” Mrs Powell said.

“It’s important that the problems at Wangaratta Council are resolved in an expeditious manner and that the elected councillors and the council administration function effectively in the interests of the Wangaratta community.

“Being elected to represent your community is a great honour and the residents and
ratepayers expect and deserve a council that is focused on serving the best interests of the entire community.”

The Rural City of Wangaratta is currently under investigation by the Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate for alleged breaches of the Local Government Act; plus a Councillor Conduct Panel has been convened to deal with alleged misconduct by Cr Julian Fidge; an independent industrial relations consultant is assessing a number of staff complaints that they have been bullied by Cr Fidge; and Probity Auditor, Bill Scales, is examine allegations that Cr Fidge was bullied by chief executive officer, Doug Sharp.

Mrs Powell said recent events at Wangaratta had confirmed her decision to appoint an inspector to assist the council deliver leadership and effective governance to the community.

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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