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EXCLUSIVE | Government announces public inquiry into shonky council

Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton has announced a public inquiry into Blue Mountains City Council to investigate serious allegations of asbestos mismanagement and poor governance.

Earlier this week the state government won its appeal to suspend the shonky council after months of legal battles.

It comes after repeated allegations of misconduct have been unveiled by Ray Hadley, in an extended campaign dating back to November last year.

Barrister Richard Beasley SC has been appointed as Commissioner to conduct the inquiry.

Ms Upton says it’s unfair Blue Mountains residents are having to put up with this.

“A public inquiry will get to the bottom of these matters once and for all in an open and transparent way. It will also help ensure local residents can have faith that their council is in a strong position to represent their best interests.”

The public inquiry will examine:

  • The track record of both the council and the councillors in dealing with asbestos management issues since 2012 including funding and co-operation with State Government agencies
  • The council’s processes surrounding the employment of certain staff and contractors including those engaged to conduct independent investigations into asbestos management and employment issues
  • Whether the council and councillors are facilitating a consultative and supportive working environment
  • The council’s compliance with its statutory responsibilities under the Local Government Act
  • The council’s organisational structure and allocation of resources.

 

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