| July 21, 2022

Labor yet to appoint a monitor for Horsham council

Three weeks after announcing it would appoint a municipal monitor to oversee Horsham Rural City Council, the Andrews Labor Government continues to sit on its hands.

At the start of July, Minister for Local Government Melissa Horne announced the state government would appoint a monitor following a request from the council’s CEO and Mayor after allegations of bullying and a toxic workplace culture within the council.

The monitor will work with council to improve its governance practices and ensure councillors are performing their roles lawfully, and will also make recommendations to the minister if they believe further action is required.

Ms Horne visited Horsham last week and said an announcement about the monitor was imminent, but still no appointment has been made.

Member for Lowan and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Emma Kealy – who first contacted the state government a year ago about concerns with the council – said residents and the council could not afford for the government to waste any more time.

“Our community deserves better and should not be left in limbo for weeks. The minister needs to provide the council with the terms of reference – including what areas the monitor will be focusing on and what support will be provided to council – so the council can begin to move forward,” she said.

“Horsham Rural City ratepayers need and expect a functional council that maintains the highest standards of governance and accountability.

“There have been a number of issues that the council has not been able to resolve internally, and every day we wait for a monitor to be appointed is a missed opportunity for council to start getting back to what it has been elected to do – pave a strong future for the Horsham Rural City community.

“I stand with the community in calling on the Andrews Labor Government to make the monitor appointment as a matter of urgency so that Horsham Rural City Council can once again focus on its residents and its role in building the best possible future for the people of our region.”

Ms Kealy said council’s core functions and day-to-day activities would continue as normal once a monitor was appointed, and encouraged people to continue engaging with council as they otherwise would, and ensure they showed respect to staff and councillors.

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