WANGARATTA deputy mayor Paul O’Brien has flagged the prospect of an Ombudsman’s report and freedom of information requests being sought to uncover the events leading to the council’s dismissal.
Cr O’Brien is upset Mrs Jeanette Powell didn’t provide the council with a “show cause notice” and extended the right of reply to the recommended outcome put forward by her municipal inspector, Peter Stephenson.
“Natural justice should be available to all,” he said.
“Normally there are two sides to every story and I feel in many instances only one has been told.”
An Ombudsman’s report was central to the most recent council to be dismissed in Victoria — Brimbank — and identified improper conduct among Brimbank councillors.
Cr O’Brien said a minority group of people never accepted the election result last year.
“Prior to the 2012 elections, many in the community had lost faith in councillors’ handling of the rural land strategy, Merriwa Park car parking and councillors actually not setting the agenda,” he said.
“I stood for council because I wanted to give something back to the community.
“Democracy spoke at the election and in my opinion democracy has been sabotaged, but the community has had enough of the in-fighting.
“I hope we can all now rule a line in the sand.
“North East Victoria is one of the best places in the world to live.
“We need to get the Rural City of Wangaratta back in the spotlight for the right reasons.”