WODONGA Council has been forced into damage control to respond to explosive allegations made by former councillor Tim Quilty of favourable treatment to "connected" developers, senior staff misleading councillors and hounding of whistleblowers.
Speaking in the Victorian Parliament on Thursday, Mr Quilty asked local government minister Adem Somyurek what level of misconduct was required to spark an investigation into the council.
Wodonga mayor Anna Speedie has dismissed the claims made by her former colleague.
"It’s disappointing that a former member of this council, someone who represented our community, has used this opportunity, and his position, to make spurious, rhetorical allegations," she said.
"The council has already addressed the recommendations from the Ombudsman’s report and finalises that with the upcoming budget.
"Like the minister said, there are robust integrity bodies in place that oversee local government."
Mr Quilty quit council late last year when he was elected to the upper house of the Victorian Parliament.
In response to his question, Mr Somyurek said complaints about councils could be directed to various bodies including Local Government Victoria, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the Ombudsman, the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission and police.
"With respect to all your other complaints and grievances, one thing I will say is I have got faith in the integrity system," Mr Somyurek said.
The minister described the integrity framework of Victoria as "very robust".
"In fact it is the envy of the nation," Mr Somyurek said.
"I would encourage you and that particular community to put in a complaint so that we get the process rolling."
Mr Quilty declined to comment outside Parliament.
Inside the house under parliamentary privilege, he asked: "Can you tell the house what level of misconduct by council is required to spark an investigation?"
"I congratulate Mr Quilty for bringing these matters to the attention of the minister," he said.
"As I've said before, an administrator would be an appropriate mechanism to bring public confidence back into Wodonga Council."
A special meeting has been called for 9am on Friday.
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