A local community group, SAFE (Stop Arms Fairs in Eurobodalla), has asked the head of the Premier's Department to urgently intervene in the group's dispute with the Eurobodalla Shire Council.. This dispute is in connection with the 65 page submission that SAFE recently lodged with the mayor detailing, what the group claims to be, irrefutable evidence of a range of serious systemic governance failures by council officials in recent years. According to SAFE president , Heather Irwin, “we seem to be witnessing a remarkable and concerted effort by our council officials to prevent any possibility of a proper impartial investigation of our wide-ranging and damning submission. One of the council's tactics has been to refer these matters to an external investigator, even though that particular person was specifically identified in our submission as possibly being involved in certain aspects of this council's mismanagement of its 'code of conduct' complaints scheme. “This action by council staff is clearly contrary to accepted procedural and ethical standards and adds yet another item to the already long list of this council's integrity transgressions. The appointment of this particular investigator raises obvious and serious issues around conflicts of interest and a perceptions of bias.” “We are also gravely concerned about significant misinformation about our submission that was contained in a recent public statement by the mayor, Liz Innes. In that statement, which was reported in Bay Post, Ms Innes said that the matters covered in our submission had been previously been examined by “independent investigators multiple times”. “This assertion by Ms Innes is utterly untrue. The overwhelming majority of the incidents and issues covered in our 65 page submission have never been subjected to any external independent investigation. If this is the advice that the mayor has received from council staff, then there is clearly an urgent need for Ms Innes to be seeking advice on this issue from a different and impartial source.
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