Petition calls for shire administrator

A petition calling for an administrator to be appointed to Baw Baw Shire has been tabled in state parliament.
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood tabled the petition, signed by more than 230 people that called for the state government to appoint an administrator to restore basic services to the shire.
The petition, led by Warragul businessman Andy Unstead, called for the shire to deliver basic services, transparency and accountability to local ratepayers and residents.
The petition said an administrator needed to be appointed to restore the basic services not being undertaken by the shire and to ensure public funds were being used correctly to help improve our region.
“Local residents are concerned that the Baw Baw Shire executive team, including chief executive officer, department directors and others are not providing basic service and accountability to residents, and increasingly it appears the executive team at Baw Baw Shire are dictating the direction of council and its expenditure and not giving local elected councillors a say in how funds are used.
“Continually shire staff and the executive team are ignoring the local community by failing to properly invest in areas such as roads, footpaths and other community assets.
“Concerns have been raised regarding the expenditure of council on non-essential projects. However, no response given has satisfied local communities who feel ignored,” the petition stated.
Mr Blackwood tabled the petition in parliament on Wednesday and said he expected Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins would provide a response to himself and Mr Unstead.
He said he expected Ms Hutchins would take the petition seriously given the number of signatures.
Ahead of the petition, Mr Blackwood said he had been approached by Mr Unstead and others who had concerns about council operations.
“I would hope the new council and councillors will take control and provide the direction that the chief executive officer needs to address the concerns.
“Given the customer satisfaction survey results Baw Baw had this year, the new council has a lot to work on,” he said.

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