The Victorian Government has appointed an interim administrator to the Moira Shire Council following the delivery of a report from an independent Commission of Inquiry that led to the council’s dismissal.
Minister for Local Government, Melissa Horne today announced John Tanner AM will take on the role of Independent Administrator for a period of three months, until a panel of administrators is appointed.
Mr Tanner and Frances O’Brien KC were the Commissioners who completed the comprehensive review of the council and its operations that led to legislation being introduced to Parliament this week to remove the council.
Mr Tanner will work to ensure the functions of the council continue effectively, with the permanent panel of administrators to ensure good governance practices are restored so that elections can be held at Moira Shire in 2028, said Minister Horne.
“John Tanner and the future panel of administrators will ensure council services are delivered effectively for the community and the health and wellbeing of staff is prioritised,” she said.
“It is vital that every council properly represents its community. That was not the case in Moira Shire – the findings of the Commission of Inquiry demanded drastic action be taken in the interests of local residents and businesses.”
The Commission of Inquiry’s report found that governance at Moira Shire Council has deteriorated to the point that the council could no longer effectively carry out its responsibilities in accordance with the Local Government Act 2020.
The report, tabled in Parliament this week, found:
- A serious decline in governance at the council over the past decade;
- Evidence of misconduct;
- Possible illegal activity;
- Mismanagement of key projects;
- Repeated failures to meet occupational health and safety obligations;
- Poor community representation on council and engagement with the community.
The Commission recommended the council be dismissed immediately and put into administration until good governance practices were restored.