The South Gippsland Action Group (SGAG) is disappointed in the State Government action to deny the operation of democratic processes in the South Gippsland Shire.
Ratepayers had indicated they wanted change in the Council make up at the 2016 election when they voted in 6 out of 9 new Councillors and dumped the previous Councillors.
It now appears those that were dumped have managed to orchestrate the final debasing of this Council and those new Councillors who have been working hard to make a change have been disparaged.
The Ministerial approach has been a sham.
The Minister stated before appointing the Commission of Inquiry that he was going to sack the Council.
That was just minutes after receiving a report from the Council.
The charging of Cr McEwen in the midst of all this is also curious – they have had this case for over 12 months and surprise surprise – they manage to arrange a charge at this time.
The new Council make up was working well, save for one councillor.
They were heeding input from the community and were trying to implement long standing parts of the Council plan.
There was push back from the administration. However, the Council were doing their job – giving direction to the Administration.
That is different to actions in the past when the Council rolled over and went with the CEO advice.
We urge ratepayers to not denigrate the current Councillors who were doing a good job but to think back to where all this trouble started – the previous Council – and their recent messy and loud departures.
Democracy at Council level can be slow and unedifying as it makes changes.
Ratepayers can be misled by Councillors who are not true to their word. Next time round please try and find Councillors who will look after us and direct the Administration and not be a token presence.
Lindsay Love, SGAG Secretary.