Municipal Inspector, Peter Stephenson’s final report into the Rural City of Wangaratta details the depth of problems that led to council’s dismissal.
In his report Mr Stephenson refers to a culture of “political point scoring” among councillors, as well as a “lack of direction from council” that led to delays in the rural city’s strategic planning processes.
The report was tabled in Parliament last week and was the final of three reports Mr Stephenson completed during his initial three months in Wangaratta.
Political point scoring was highlighted as a key problem.
“Personal interactions are often characterised by a lack of respect for the opinions of others and Councillors (Tammy) Atkins and (Don) Joyce are regularly targeted with aggressive and intimidatory behaviour,” the report states.
The report also refers to council’s inability to address workplace health and safety concerns highlighted in a report by employee relation firm, The Zalt Group.
“The stalemate in relation to health and safety matters continues to impact both on the health and safety of staff, but also the capacity of the staff team to appropriately brief, and to seek direction from council,” it states.
“Council has had a number of opportunities to adopt resolutions, based on legal advice, that are aimed at protecting the health and safety of staff and continue in their refusal to do so.”
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