WANGARATTA councillor Julian Fidge has secured a hearing at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal which could prevent him being suspended from public office as early as next week.
Cr Fidge hopes to gain a stay of the decision made this week by a councillor conduct panel to oust him for two months, pending an appeal to VCAT.
Cr Fidge’s hearing will be on Wednesday, one day after the council’s next meeting.
The conduct panel found he breached the council code of conduct in five instances in a long running battle with fellow councillors Tammy Atkins, Don Joyce, former councillor Lisa McInerney and mayor Rozi Parisotto.
As part of his sanction, Cr Fidge also has to attend counselling.
The penalty handed down by the panel was the strongest within its powers.
The panel findings will be handed down on Tuesday night when the council will also vote on its budget for this financial year.
But a notice of motion from Cr Fidge calling for Cr Atkins to be censured for taking more complaints against him to the Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell and councillor conduct panels doesn’t appear on the agenda.
Cr Fidge said last night the item, which was withdrawn from the previous monthly meeting, had been left off due to a technical glitch.
Mrs Powell is also expected to hand down her decision on whether the council should be sacked some time next week.