Monday, May 23, 2022

Central Coast Council sacked

Central Coast Council has been sacked, with councillors immediately terminated following a NSW Government review of the Council’s financial management.

NSW Local Government Minister, Wendy Tuckerman tabled the report on the public inquiry into the Council yesterday, as she announced the termination of all Central Coast councillors, effective immediately.

The Council was suspended in October last year after its deficit more than doubled from $41 million to $89 million in just seven months.

More than $6 million in emergency funding was extended to the Council to ensure Council staff and contractors could be paid.

The report, by inquiry commissioner, Roslyn McCulloch, made eight recommendations to improve accountability.

Ms McCulloch recommended an administrator be appointed to serve until an election is held to install a new Council.

Minister Tuckerman said the Government accepts the Commissioner’s remaining recommendations in-principle.

“The community rightly expects that its elected council officials adhere to the highest standards and this report makes strong recommendations to help improve the council’s performance moving forward,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“The Commissioner’s report raised concerns about the financial management of Central Coast Council and makes practical recommendations to improve accountability.

“Central Coast ratepayers deserve a council operating in the best interests of its community and this report puts in place recommendations to continue the road to recovery.”

The Minister has worked closely with the Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch, who is a staunch advocate of council improvement for the region.

Mrs Tuckerman also recognised the work of interim administrators, Dick Persson AM and Rik Hart, in helping oversee the council’s recovery.

Mr Hart has been asked to continue as interim Administrator to ensure continuity in the recovery.

A full list of recommendations and a copy of the report is available here.

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