SENTINEL-TIMES COMMENT

THE South Gippsland Shire Council should apply for a special dispensation from the traditional ‘Caretaker Period’ before the October 23 election this year because there simply aren’t any elected councillors who might be compromised by the decisions of the government-appointed administrators.

They should simply apply for a waiver from the Local Government Minister, Shaun Leane, and get on with the business of running the council.

Already though, there’s been talk around the civic centre of the introduction of the Caretaker Period, for the 32 days between September 21 and October 23, providing an opportunity for some to put the “feet up on the desk” and avoid making any decisions.

The rules around not signing contracts for the provision of $150,000 in goods and services or $200,000 for the carrying out of works just aren’t relevant.

There’s no one around to benefit from a decision that might help one town, and therefore one councillor over the next, or over any challengers.

The council’s not supposed to say anything that might affect the outcome of the election either, but that doesn’t apply either.

The council is also supposed to refrain from sacking the CEO during the caretaker period, but that’s a highly unlikely outcome.

So, even if they can’t get a waiver from the Minister, the community simply wants the council administrators and the shire administration to get on with it: no delays in planning applications, no delays in getting works started or finished, and if orders of goods, equipment and services have to be made… get on with it!