I feel I must in a small way seek to set the story straight about the developments that have just occurred within the South Gippsland Shire Council in recent days.
Rather than creating a situation of mayhem as I gather some are trying to suggest, I believe these developments are positive and complete the refreshing of the council to one that is now better placed to reflect and progress community interests as we go forward.
The previous council was quite divided but was on many occasions directed by a group of councillors who tended to vote as a block on many issues.
These issues included the plan to spend major millions of dollars ($30M-plus) on a new council offices and new council precinct, the need for constant large rate increases to build a bank of money to meet these proposed huge capital costs etc.
Councillors Hill and McEwen voiced major opposition to both the above proposals, but in the ultimate vote were inevitably defeated on these and other motions by the controlling group.
Councillors Hill and McEwen however maintained their ongoing opposition on the above and other related issues and were inevitably unfairly reported as effectively being “troublemakers”.
Notwithstanding this, at the last council election the public showed that they knew the reality of the situation, and councillors Hill and McEwen were convincingly re-elected, with Councillor Brunt the only one of the remaining councillors being re-elected and only narrowly.
Prior councillor Mr Fawcett was recently reinstated as a councillor (after losing at the last election) after his replacement (Meg Edwards) resigned for her own reasons some months ago.
The new council on taking office immediately cancelled the fanciful and extravagant plans proposed by the old council for a new council office and council precinct and has been
working hard to contain costs and severely moderate rate increases.
The pending replacement of councillors Fawcett and Brunt will complete the refreshing of the council and I look forward to a continuation of the improvement in council administration that has occurred under the new council since the last election.
Lloyd McKenzie, Foster.