The NSW Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock has issued a proposed Performance Improvement Order (PIO) to address the performance and behaviour of Dubbo Regional Council and councillors.
Minister Hancock said the PIO required each councillor to make a formal undertaking to lift behaviour standards. She has appointed an independent temporary adviser to ensure compliance with the order.
“After a turbulent period, the NSW Government is becoming involved to ensure Dubbo Regional Council gets back on track,” Mrs Hancock said.
“This proposed PIO is intended to lift councillor standards of behaviour, ensure proper processes are followed, protect the health and safety of staff, provide strict supervision, and encourage community confidence in Dubbo Regional Council.
“The NSW Government will continue to monitor the situation closely.”
The proposed PIO includes each councillor enters into a written undertaking to:
- Conduct themselves in a manner that does not constitute bullying or harassment of council staff;
- Refrain from any action of reprisal against any council staff member for performing their duties;
- Refrain from making public allegations of wrongdoing against other council officials;
- Use the proper processes for making allegations of wrongdoing against other council officials;
- Refrain from interfering in code of conduct matters;
- The general manager develops a formal system to manage requests from councillors to council staff to ensure they are respectful and reasonable and allow limitations to be imposed as required, and
- Council places the amended policy governing the payment of expenses to the mayor and councillors on public exhibition in accordance with the Local Government Act.
As determined by the Local Government Act, the Minister has provided Dubbo Regional Council with a notice of intention to issue the PIO and given it seven days to make a submission.
The Minister must consider any submission before making a final determination on whether to issue the PIO.