Live Blog: Ararat Rural City to hold August 22, 2017 special meeting in response to inquiry recommendations

The state government commission of inquiry into Ararat Rural City council holds a public hearing at Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre on July 12, 2017. Picture: PETER PICKERING

The state government commission of inquiry into Ararat Rural City council holds a public hearing at Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre on July 12, 2017. Picture: PETER PICKERING

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6.17pm

Meeting over. That’s all folks!

6.14pm

The motion to accept the recommendations and the further report has been carried.

Cr Glenda McLean told the chamber she had contacted the authorities i her attempt to get an Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission investigation into Ararat Rural City

6.12pm

Cr Darren Ford has made a second attempt to suspend standing orders so that Cr Allgood can make a statement.

Mayor Paul Hooper said the public gallery would have to be cleared.

Cr Jo Armstrong said the best time would be at the next ordinary meeting so that the comments could be public.

Cr Hooper has denied the move.

Cr Allgood said she would be happy to wait until the next meeting. 

6.08pm

Cr Gwenda Allgood said she would like to make a statement because she was mentioned extensively in the report.

Cr Paul Hooper said local laws and meeting procedures meant that she could only speak to the motion at hand.  

”If i was charged in court with murder, I would be given my right of reply,” Cr Allgood said.

She said she would have preferred to make a statement to councillors first but will consider releasing remarks to the media.

6.05pm

Interim chief executive Colleen White says the time taken to act on the minister’s 12 recommendations will vary, given the external monitor.

“This process needs to be seen to be fair and transparent,” Ms White said.

6.03pm

Cr David Pettman is an apology for tonight’s meeting due to being overseas.

6pm

Welcome the Ararat Advertiser live blog of the Ararat Rural City Council special meeting. See below for background info on what it’s all about: a further response to the commission of inquiry report.

Scroll to the bottom of this Ararat Rural City web page for the meeting agenda and appendix. 

EARLIER

ARARAT Rural City Council will hold a special meeting on Tuesday night to respond the recommendations from Victoria’s Local Government Minister.

The recommendations were based on the findings of a Commission of Inquiry report into Ararat Rural City Council’s proposal to abolish differential rates.

Related stories:

Councillors have already acted on one of the recommendations, which was to revert to the rating strategy for 2016-17.

The motion, carried at least week’s ordinary council meeting, preserved differential rates discounts for farmers and extra rates for commercial and industrial properties.

Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins has recommended that Ararat Rural City:

  • Establish a rating strategy advisory group 
  • Appoint an external interim chief executive 
  • Review its community engagement policy
  • Adopt best practice for its Audit Committee 
  • Take steps under its Councillor Code of Conduct to address the Commission’s findings in relation to potential breaches of the Code of Conduct

Ms Hutchins will also appoint an external monitor to Ararat Rural City for two years.

The Special Council Meeting will be held at 6.00pm, August 22 in the Council Chamber, Shire Hall, Barkly Street, Ararat.

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