Tuesday, 2 June 2020
ARMIDALE Regional Council’s decision yesterday, by majority vote, to welcome the appointment of an independent Administrator is a positive move.
By making this choice, Councillors have, by default, publicly acknowledged the untenable situation within the council and that major change is essential and now inevitable.
This is an important first step in resolving the significant issues of dysfunction within the leadership of Council and is a decision, I believe, which has the strong support of the local community.
Today I discussed Council’s decision with the Minister for Local Government and her office to secure the swift appointment of an independent Administrator.
The Minister is obligated to consider Council’s response to her notice and I expect arrangements will be put in place in the coming days for the formal suspension of the Council and the appointment and announcement of an independent and experienced Administrator.
This should be finalised by the end of the week.
I now look to the future with a degree of optimism. The issues plaguing Armidale Regional Council must be sorted and its focus put back where it should be – providing effective and united leadership for the region and delivering for the local community.
As much as its pains me to say, the only way to achieve this now is through a period of Administration.
Under the terms of the notice, the Minister has the power to suspend the Mayor and Councillors for an initial period of up to three months and, if necessary, extend that period for a further three months (six months in total) to resolve the current issues within the council.
The Minister also has powers to dismiss the council for a period of time up to the next general election or for a specified period beyond this.