A reasonable amount of time has lapsed in our shire since our local situation made headlines that crossed local boundaries and made us the ‘laughing stock of Victoria’ complete with graffiti welcoming visitors to the area where South Gippsland Shire Council (SGSC) were called clowns.
There has been time to remove the graffiti, to welcome the new acting administrator to many local meetings and to hear positive suggestions of moving forward to change in the future.
Unfortunately, a very important issue has been very conveniently swept under the carpet in an exercise of poor housekeeping and it has had dangerous and negative implications that locals are aware of, but ministers removed from, SGS sitting in other places should be held accountable for. We heard the voices and read transcripts of documents released by the Commission of Inquiry, the Local Government Minister and the highly paid Monitor.
These all amounted to a one-sided, biased, unbalanced widespread media brainwash… not accompanied by publication of the ‘show cause’ right of reply which was submitted in good faith by the ex-mayor and his councillors.
Our local newspapers jumped quickly onto this frenzy of bias and launched into their own form of unprofessional attack explaining their stance as giving people the news they demand as they are in the business of selling papers.
What has happened as a consequence is nasty, undemocratic and a continuation of the non-transparent bullying behaviour some of us in the community have been calling out for many years.
This Shire’s small population is rife with one point of view and there is no credit given to the respect and consideration that should have been given to the opposite point of view… the document detailing their reasons for not being dismissed ‘showing cause’.
The rumours, nasty insinuations, lack of respect and ‘we told you so’ widespread assumptions do no credit to this community, but owe more to the unprofessional biased secrecy exhibited by the local minister and the failure to table this document so informed community discussions could have resulted.
Instead, the ex-mayor and some totally innocent and worthy ex-councillors are being publicly victimised by a small-minded self-invested minority in our community.
It is shameful and needs to be redressed ASAP.
Marie Gerrard-Staton, Korumburra.