Mayor Cr Laura Binks calls on Minister to hand down decision following another lapsed Council meeting

29 Nov 2023

Mayor Cr Laura Binks said it is clearer than ever, Strathbogie Shire Council requires a decision from the Minister for Local Government on Council’s future.

The Mayor’s comments come after the November Council Meeting has twice lapsed due to Councillors leaving the meeting before considering Item 12 of the agenda – Elections to Office.

The November Council meeting, which began on Tuesday 21 November 2023 and lapsed, was scheduled to be reconvened at Item 12 – Elections to Office – at 2pm on Tuesday 28 November 2023, at the Euroa Community Conference Centre, 1b Bury Street, Euroa.

This came after the meeting held on Tuesday November 21, 2023 lapsed due to two Councillors left the meeting before considering the final agenda Item – Elections to Office. This meant quorum wasn’t maintained and therefore the meeting lapsed.

Prior to the reconvened meeting on Tuesday November 28, Councillors Chris Raeburn and Sally Hayes-Burke advised the Mayor they would not be in attendance which meant the meeting remained lapsed.

Cr Binks implored the Minister to provide clarity on what the next steps were for Strathbogie Shire Council.

“Our greatest challenge has remained the one of councillors comprehending and understanding their role, the role of the CEO and Council Officers and the importance of governance and following the Local Government Act 2020 and our policies, plans, charters and codes we adopted and signed up to,” Cr Binks said.

“We are experiencing multiple code of conduct breaches and regular unacceptable behaviour towards each other, the CEO, and the Council Officers. It is awful.

“The failure to uphold these standards of conducts has led to a disrespectful and unsafe workplace and a failure of governance.

Cr Binks asked Minister Horne to immediately release the municipal monitor’s report.

“I am committed to creating a respectful decision-making environment and I call on Minister Horne to assist me in achieving this,” she said.

“Everyone deserves better. Our community deserves better. Our CEO deserves better. Strathbogie Shire Council Officers deserve better. My fellow Councillors deserve better.

“We need a decision now. It has been over three months since the municipal monitor’s report was handed down.

“This is an unsustainable situation for all involved.”