1 JANUARY 2011
I would like to begin
this Newsletter by wishing you all a happy, healthy and successful
However, our first Newsletter
for 2011 brings the news that the Minister has refused our request
for a Public Inquiry and Audit of the affairs of Eurobodalla Shire
Council - click [here] for page 1 of the Minister's letter, and
[here] for page 2.
Whilst refusing our request
for an Inquiry, the Minister spelled out loudly and clearly to Councillors
that: “Councillors as members of the governing body have a
responsibility to review the performance of Council and its delivery
of services. They also have a responsibility to listen and respond
to the concerns of their constituents.” The ERA takes on board
the Minister’s comments and will continue to press for improvement
in Council’s performance and its response to community opinions
In announcing her decision,
the Minister commented: “While I have the power to call a
Public Inquiry, this power is an option of last resort”.
The Eurobodalla Ratepayers
Association made its submission to the Minister on 1st November,
2010, which included a list of critical grievances with a supporting
Petition of 3,000 signatures. Since then, there have been further
revelations of failures in basic rules of governance, in particular
with regard to the “bonus” paid to the General Manager.
The ERA also notes that not one of the Councillors acknowledged
the 3,000 ratepayers who signed the Petition.
We are encouraged by the Minister’s advice that: “I
can assure you that the situation at Council will continue to be
monitored closely by the Division … “. The ERA will
continue to pursue the problems and grievances expressed universally
within the Shire regarding Council operations and the New Year will
be a time of even greater activity and intent by the Association.
The time is now right
to bring into focus the roles of Mayor and Councillors. Our 3,000
signature Petition has shown the community’s reaction to poor
basic decision making. It is clear that the State Government needs
to review and reform Local Government Policy – we question
the wisdom of having a popularly elected Mayor for a 4-year term
and must insist that Councillors carry out their duties and obligations
as defined by the Local Government Act.
Our Association is looking
seriously ahead to ensure that residents and ratepayers elect effective,
knowledgeable and able people for the next Council term.
We have set a firm date
for a General Meeting of all interested supporters at the Moruya
Golf Club on Monday, 24 January, 2011 at 5.30 p.m.
Members of the existing
Management Committee look forward to meeting you then.
Convenor - ERA