A message from our President
Last week was certainly one like no other. We had the Local Government Bill pass through the houses and is now awaiting Royal Assent. We also saw the monitor's report on the City of Whittlesea Bill and Municipal Monitor's report tabled and recommend that the Council be dismissed, it passed through the houses with little comment and speedily received Royal Assent. By way of declaration, I had the privilege to work at the City of Whittlesea with smart, passionate and incredibly professional people and I left at the end of November last year to fulfil my dream of being a Local Government CEO.
I want to acknowledge the impact of working in an environment where the principles of good governance and public service are impeded, undermined and disregarded. Please see the Municipal Monitor's report which will give you a sense of the impact on the organisation and its people. Here is an extract:-
" However, the Council itself is broken by years of internal division, factionalism, personality conflicts and bitter legacies of perceived betrayals. The poisons in Council run so deep that Councillors from both sides of the divide see little prospect of ever bridging their differences. Council governance has irretrievably collapsed. Some Councillors appear to derive comfort from the thought that, irrespective of their endless feuding, the business of Council continues to get done. It ignores the damage that has been done to the good governance and reputation of the City, to working relationships between Councillors and staff, to their health and wellbeing and to the planning and delivery of services and infrastructure to the community. That the Council has continued to meet its service and statutory obligations is in no small part due to the resilience and professionalism of its administration. However, both have been sorely tested in the months after the sudden dismissal, whilst on Workcover leave of its Chief Executive Officer Mr. Simon Overland ".
I am so proud of the team at the City of Whittlesea. They are now in a special club with the tremendous teams at the City of Casey and Shire of South Gippsland, City of Brimbank, Rural City of Wangaratta, City of Greater Geelong, City of Darebin ...... (apologies if I have forgotten a sacked council since amalgamation). You are the heroes in these sad tales. Thank you for your public service.
Chief Executive Officer, Northern Grampians Shire Council