Clear sailing ahead
Mayor backs local government chief
DERWENT Valley Mayor Martyn Evans says intervention from the Local Government Director was required at the council.
However, he believes it is making “overwhelming progress” towards implementing his recommendations.
The Derwent Valley Council voted to endorse the quarterly update to the Director of Local Government, Alex Tay, in relation to his August report to the council, at last month’s meeting.
The public 20-page report included 15 recommendations to the council.
It followed a number of complaints about the governance and operational performance of the council from October to December 2016.
Cr Evans said the intervention was required.
“I reckon it was [needed],” Cr Evans said.
“I’ve never shirked the issue of things like that, if it’s needed, it’s needed, I think it just straightens the ship up.
“In ship terminology, instead tacking left, it’s got us on a straight tack now and hopefully it’s beautifully clear sailing.”
Cr Evans said the council had a 12-month work schedule to implement the recommendations.
“I suppose that puts us on a timeline to get things to 100 per cent, and ratepayers should be happy with that, and I think council and council staff should be happy with that,” he said.
The council’s quarterly update lists each recommendation, and what it has done to address it.
The update shows that the council is planning to ask the Audit Panel to undertake a review of all loans by the council in the past three years, and also review the council’s credit card and expenses policies.
It has also recruited two senior managers.
“I think it’s made overwhelming progress on numerous things, there’s still some things outstanding, but we’re definitely on track and in front,” Cr Evans said.
However, Cr Evans said the recommendations were not a guaranteed solution to council issues.
“In the normal world things change day to day, and week to week and month to month on availability of staff, grants, funding, weather conditions, council policy itself,” he said.
“Things can change, but in the process we’re going for at the moment, I think we’ve got a robust structure to go forward.”
The full update can be found in the Derwent Valley Council’s agenda for the September meeting on its website at www.derwentvalley.tas.gov.au