THE three members of South Gippsland Shire Council’s Victorian Government-appointed administration panel bid the municipality farewell on Wednesday October 20, 2021 at the end of their 28-month term of office.
Speaking from her home office before the start of the shire’s October online virtual ordinary meeting number 464, panel chair Julie Eisenbise noted that “today is the very last day that administrators will be running the council meeting.
“Personally and on behalf of my colleagues, administrator Christian Zahra and administrator Rick Brown, I’d like to thank the staff and the community who have offered so much support to us over the last period of time [while] we’ve been working with South Gippsland,” she said.
“It’s just been an absolute honour and a privilege that we all share, and we have been delighted to be here.
“We wish the new council the very best wishes, and every success, and we look forward to that,” Ms Eisenbise said.
“We are now into [the election] caretaker period of course, so there will be limited comments on all of the agenda items, so I thought I’d just put that before we commence the meeting,” she said.
“And so, now I will welcome you all to council meeting number 464 of the South Gippsland Shire.”
This final open council meeting to be presided over by the administration panel was again “conducted by electronic means of communication pursuant to section 394 of the Local Government Act 2020” because of current COVIOD-19 restrictions.
Since mid-2020 the majority of all types of meetings and briefings, both open and closed, attended by the panel acting as the council have followed the Victorian Local Government Minister’s Good Practice Guideline MGPG-1: Virtual Meetings.
The Guideline was developed “to ensure that local government decision making can continue in line with COVID-19 Pandemic requirements.”
The October 2021 meeting was open to the general public via the livestream on the South Gippsland Shire’s website and ran for 13 minutes and 48 seconds from start to finish.
The three panel members, together with shire chief executive officer Kerryn Ellis, can be seen and heard during the video of the administrators’ valedictory appearance.
The next open South Gippsland Shire Council meeting, at present scheduled for 1 pm on Wednesday November 24, 2021, will feature nine newly-elected and sworn-in councillors, one of whom they will have chosen as mayor.