Brimbank Council administration to be extended to 2015
The Victorian Government has announced it will introduce legislation to extend the Administration of the Brimbank City Council through until March 2015.
Brimbank Council was sacked in 2009 following a report by the Ombudsman report that found that councillors had behaved improperly in relation to funds, and the Council was “generally dysfunctional and marked by in-fighting and interpersonal conflicts”.
The decision to extend the period of Administration was recommended by two independent reports which led the Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell to the conclusion that the best course of action was to maintain Administration while work was finalised.
"Both reports identified that the premature return to an elected council carries the very real risk of a return to the discredited and damaging practices of the past and the derailing of numerous important projects commenced under Administration,” she said.
Ms Powell said that, subject to the passage of the legislation, a rotation and refocusing would occur amongst the team of administrators at Brimbank.
"Jo Anderson and Meredith Sussex will step down at the end of October this year, roughly in line with the general Local Council elections. Peter Lewinsky will relinquish his role as Chief Administrator but remain a member of the Administration team.”
Ms Powell said that she wanted to put on the record her personal thanks to the current Administrators for the outstanding job they have done at the council and acknowledge the role of the former Minister Richard Wynne in the decision to appoint them.
"The community of Brimbank have been fortunate to have the skills and dedication of Jo and Meredith working for them during this difficult period," Mrs Powell said.
"The final phase of administration will feature a comprehensive community engagement strategy to prepare for the return of an elected council. I have asked the current Chair Peter Lewinsky to stay on as an administrator, thereby giving the team important continuity.
"John Watson, the current Executive Director of Local Government Victoria, will retire in October and will then assume the role of Chief Administrator at Brimbank.
"John Watson is highly respected for his skills and abilities throughout the sector and by both sides of politics. Upon learning of his intention to retire from LGV, I asked him to take on the role of Chair of the Brimbank Administrators.”
The third administrator's position will go to an individual with strong qualifications in community engagement.