Council budget meeting adjourned

Adoption of the City of Whittlesea’s 2020-21 budget will be delayed until next month due to the appointment of a panel of administrators for the council.

Lydia Wilson

Premier Daniel Andrews announced on June 19 a panel of administrators – interim administrator Lydia Wilson has been appointed chair and will be joined by Peita Duncan and Bruce Billson.

Peita Duncan
Bruce Billson

Mr Andrews made the appointment in his capacity as acting Minister of Local Government, after sacking former minister Adam Somyurek due to allegations of ALP branch-stacking.

A special council meeting, to adopt the 2020-21 proposed council Budget and Council Action Plan, was previously scheduled for June 11.

The meeting was then rescheduled to June 25, but to give the panel time to review reports, the meeting will now be adjourned until 2pm on July 7.

Ms Wilson said she was pleased the full panel of administrators had been appointed and looked forward to working with Ms Duncan and Mr Billson.

“I would like to thank the Premier for appointing the panel. It is important for the community to have the panel of three administrators in place, and the organisation to have stability at the governance level of Council for the next four years,” she said.

Ms Duncan is the chair of Greyhound Racing Victoria and board member for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

Mr Billson, director of a consultancy business providing strategic policy and communications advice, served for 20 years as the federal member for Dunkley.

He has held several senior executive positions in local government, including acting chief executive of the Shire of Hastings.

Each panel member was sworn into office last week.

Administrators carry out the role, responsibilities and functions of councillors as set out in the Local Government Act and the panel undertakes the role of the council.

Administrators were appointed after the dismissal of councillors by the Victorian Parliament in March, following the recommendation of a municipal monitor investigation into the council.

The panel of administrators will remain until the October 2024 local government election.
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, people can watch council meetings via live streaming at www.whittlesea.vic.gov.au/about-us/council/council-meetings.

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