The Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock has issued Armidale Regional Council with a notice of intention to suspend it for three months and appoint an interim administrator.
It follows serious concerns about the council’s ability to function properly and effectively following a breakdown of relationships between councillors and key council officers and significant reputational, legal and work, health and safety risks.
The move comes one week after Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall requested the urgent intervention of the Minister to resolve what he described as significant issues of dysfunction within the leadership of Armidale Regional Council.
Under the Local Government Act, the Minister is required to provide the council with the opportunity to make any submission before making a final determination on suspension.
The council now has fourteen days to make a submission as to why it should not be suspended and an independent administrator appointed for three months. By law, the Minister must consider any submission before making a final decision.
Suspension would apply to the mayor and councillors. It would not affect council staff and daily operations. The interim administrator would perform the functions of the mayor and councillors.
The above is from The Guyra Gazette’s Facebook Page – Tuesday 19 may 2020.