Better than Nostradamus

Better than Nostradamus

We got it right last month when we picked that the Minister for Local government was playing local government reform a number of moves ahead, like a good chess player, so that communities would welcome the sacking of councils with badly behaving councillors. We concluded that issue of depaNews by predicting the following for “Next month”:

Probably more councillors behaving badly, maybe some ICAC action at last on the appalling things happening at Mid-Western, probably more inaction from people we rely upon to properly regulate the industry and maybe one or two good news stories as well - certainly, one absolute ripper...

Well, how did we go?


More Councillors behaving badly

Tick. It’s hard to know where to start and where to finish. North Sydney Mayor Jilly Gibson launched herself into local rag the Mosman Daily misrepresenting herself and her partner as victims of a council resolution and a solicitor’s letter to the partner requiring that he improve his behaviour at council meetings.

Notorious for shouting interjections and the Mayor equally notorious for not dealing with this unruly behaviour because he is her cheer squad, his behaviour includes personal and misogynous observations to woman councillors. And, of course, the standard allegations and attacks on the GM for things that are not the GM’s responsibility. Why spoil a good story (as far as the Mosman Daily goes) with the truth.

Clearly it suits the Minister to have these blowflies spoiling the picnic and laying eggs in everyone else’s food.

Rather than just list a series of councils it’s enough to note that Local Government NSW has taken the unprecedented step in their Weekly Circular of 11 September to remind their members that they have obligations to staff under the Work Health and Safety Act.

The LGNSW advice coincides with unprecedented harassment and bullying by councillors of general managers and other senior staff. That LGNSW needs to remind councillors that, just as the law applies to company directors, councillors have obligations and can be brought to account as well. How could it be any other way and what does it say about some of those boofhead councillors out there that LGNSW needs to get advice from a Senior Counsel and put it in their General Circular?

All councillors, and even their cheer squads, goons and minders need to be a bit more careful.

LGNSW might have recognised and responded to this unprecedented level of bullying and bad behaviour but even they could not have anticipated what happened this month at Mid-Western.

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