VIDEO: Public Forum Presenter Jim Bright June 25th 2019 @ Eurobodalla Council Moruya NSW
EUROBODALLA SHIRE COUNCIL
PUBLIC FORUM PRESENTATION – 25 JUNE 2019
AGENDA ITEM CCS19/025 - 'CONDUCT REVIEWERS PANEL'
My name is Jim Bright. I'm a resident of Narooma.
I'm here today to speak about the agenda item relating to the proposal to approve a panel of code of conduct complaint reviewers.
At least some of you will not be surprised to hear that I'm highly in favour of councillors adopting such a panel - for the simple reason that it will finally bring an end to a period of at least 3 years in which this council has failed to carry out its clear and undeniable legal obligation to have had such a panel in place.
Late yesterday, I forwarded to each of you copies of correspondence that passed between SAFE and the ESC in the latter part of last year relating to the issues around the apparent non existence of the required panel.
You will have noted that, in SAFE's letter to the General Manager dated 4 November 2018, the council's attempt, in its letter of 2 October 2018, at justifying the situation was completely and utterly demolished. The General Manager's response to SAFE dated 23 November 2018 effectively waved a 'white flag' in relation to this matter.
Against that background, it is of considerable concern that the Staff Report, that is before you today, has again tried to portray a scenario in which the ESC was somehow not (for the last three years) in breach of its indisputable legal obligation to have had its own panel of conduct reviewers in place.
The purpose of this presentation is therefore to bring the attention of councillors and the community to the fact that the contents of the first two paragraphs of the 'Background' section of the Staff Report' are seriously misleading - and , worryingly, might be deliberately so.
Let me state categorically – at all times between June 2016 and now, the ESC was legally obliged to have had its own panel of reviewers in place – but it did not do so. At no time was the ESC provided with some type of authorisation to depart from that legal obligation - and the OLG circular that is referred to in the Staff Report did not provide the General Manager with any such authorisation.
Councillors should be demanding an explanation from the General Manager in relation to this matter.
Thank you for your time. Below: copies of correspondence between SAFE and the ESC during the period September-November 2018
Of particular relevance are the ESC's letter dated 2 October 2018 and SAFE's response dated 4 November 2018.