Audit campaigners turn up the pressure

Moira Shire's Yarrawonga offices.
Moira Shire's Yarrawonga offices.

DISGRUNTLED Moira Shire residents have called a public meeting at Nathalia tonight aimed at resurrecting the stalled independent probity audit into the council’s finances and operations.

Former council chief financial officer Adrian Pawar is one of the driving forces behind the meeting.

It will also kick-start a petition to Moira mayor Peter Mansfield, chief executive officer Mark Henderson and councillors about re-visiting the probity audit.

The petition will circulate across the shire for the rest of the week before being presented to Moira’s next meeting on Monday when the council will vote to adopt its draft budget.

The probity audit was stalled on legal grounds in March.

Last week Mr Henderson was reluctant to call for the external audit, which he described as a “fishing expedition”.

Mr Pawar is being supported by John Shorten and Leanne Pell, but no councillors have been invited to the public meeting.

“The community deserves the truth,” Mr Pawar said.

“The residents of Moira Shire are appalled and fed up with the constant barrage of explosive articles such as the most recent articles relating to significant breaches in council’s contract management processes.

“The community cannot support constant rising rates.

“The community cannot any more rely on the Victorian Auditor-General Office audit as it is more focused on financial reporting and not on fiscal and operational process that populate numbers in the financial report.”

The council on February 17 agreed to call for tenders to conduct the probity audit.

Mr Pawar wants the audit to be shown to ratepayers.