Minister is still considering fate of alpine resort board
THE future of Mt Buller Mt Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board (ARMB) remains in the hands of Victorian Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio.
Minister D’Ambrosio wrote to board members last week following a report tabled in Parliament by Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass, which found that some ARMB members and staff - including board chair Jennifer Hutchison and chief executive officer John Huber - had misused public funds and resources, collectively valued at around $85,000.
Ms D’Ambrosio gave board members seven days to give good reasons why they should not be sacked.
A spokesperson for Minister D’Ambrosio told the Mansfield Courier this week that board members had been asked to provide and show good cause responses by close of business on Monday.
The spokesperson said no decisions had been made at this stage however, the minister has the power to appoint and remove board members at her discretion, and a decision on retention or removal of board members will be taken once the minister is in receipt of the show cause notices “and has had time to consider these”.
The spokesperson r eiterated that the board is the employer of staff, including the CEO, and that the CEO is not subject to the show cause process.
Minister D’Ambrosio said last week that she had asked that the board, once the show cause process is complete, thoroughly reviews the ombudsman’s findings and determines for itself whether the CEO and other named board employees are fit to continue in the board’s service.
She also asked that the board reviews all leases and other proposals currently on foot that may come to her for endorsement, and for each provides explicit assurance to her that the process to determine the board’s recommendations meets all relevant probity and conflict of interest management tests.
As an Alpine Management Review is also in progress the spokesperson said the ombudsman has recommended that the minister review the current governance arrangements of alpine resort management boards regarding the issues and findings raised in the report.
“I have determined to do this in two parts: First, the minister initiated a review of the board - this is the show cause process; and, Second, the minister will consider the findings and themes raised in the report as part of organisational design associated with the Alpine Governance Reform Project,” Ms Glass said.
The timeframes associated with t he Alpine Governance Reform Project will not change.