SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council’s Municipal Monitor Peter Stephenson has delivered the first of a series of reports to Minister for Local Government Marlene Kairouz.
Mr Stephenson, who was appointed to the role after concerns were raised about the conduct of Council, said he was not at liberty to discuss the content of the report. However, it will be used by the Minister in her deliberations on whether Council is functioning as it should and in consideration of whether any action is required.
Mr Stephenson’s role is to assist with its governance processes and to report any findings and possible recommendations for further action to the Minister. If he believes that Council or a Councillor may have breached the Local Government Act, he is empowered to advise the Minister on any findings and possible recommendations for further action including referring the matter to the Chief Municipal Inspector.
In a recent interview with The Mirror, Mr Stephenson, who has a long history working in local government, including mentoring roles, said he was hoping “to try and provide advice so that the Council is on an even keel”.
Minister Kairouz has previously said that there were “concerns about the proper functioning of South Gippsland Shire Council”. Although comment was sought from the Minister, she did not respond before the paper’s deadline.