Member for Wollondilly Nathaniel Smith and Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman have welcomed the Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock’s decision to issue a Performance Improvement Order (PIO) for Wingecarribee Shire Council.
“This PIO is a wakeup call for Council – for too long Councillors have put their own interests before the interests of the community they serve,” Mr Smith said.
“In the midst of COVID-19 and the recovery from the bushfires earlier this year, our region deserves much better from their local council.
“It’s my hope that this PIO will focus Council’s attention on delivering the priorities and needs of the region at this difficult time.”
Mrs Tuckerman said the Minister’s decision to issue a PIO was the right decision in helping address the dysfunction within Council’s leadership.
“My office has been inundated with correspondence about the poor performance of Council,” Mrs Tuckerman said.
“Rebuilding the relationship between Council and ratepayers will take time, however I believe the issuing of a PIO is the first step in once again creating that trust.”
Under the terms of the PIO:
• All councillors must undergo training in their role as elected representatives as well as work, health and safety, bullying, the code of conduct and meeting procedures;
• The Mayor must undergo additional training in the effective chairing of meetings to better deal with acts of disorder;
• All councillors must participate in a structured mediation process;
• Workplace trainer/educator and psychologist Norm Turkington has been appointed as a temporary adviser to the council to conduct the mediation process to address hostility and acrimony among councillors; and
• State and local government veteran Ian Reynolds has been appointed as a temporary adviser to provide advice and assistance to the Mayor to ensure the orderly conduct of council meetings. Mr Reynolds has previously served as Central Coast Council administrator and Blacktown City Council general manager