Balranald Shire Council has been dismissed following a public inquiry which found it is plagued by entrenched performance and behavioural issues. An Administrator has been appointed to perform the role of the mayor and councillors until 2024.
Balranald Shire is a local government area in the Riverina area of western NSW. It includes the towns of Balranald and Euston and the localities of Kyalite, Hatfield, Penarie, Clare and Oxley.
The report found:
The council has failed to command the confidence of its community
Councillors have failed to appreciate the need for sound and consistent financial principles, with division among councillors affecting decision making;
Non-understanding by councillors of the importance of transparency in decision making, including inappropriate closure of council meetings;
The council has failed to act as a responsible employer, particularly regarding the interaction between councillors and council staff, resulting in the loss of valuable personnel; and
The council has failed to comply with its obligations as Reserve Trust Manager under the Crown Lands Act in relation to Balranald Caravan Park.
A full copy of the report can be found on the OLG website.
Council staff, Councillors and Internal Auditors at Councils should read the report and check their own environment against the findings.