Administration now a certainty

02nd Jun 2020

An administrator looks certain to be appointed for Armidale Regional Council after councillors voted not to fight a notice of motion to suspend from Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock.
At an extraordinary meeting of the council on Monday, councillors voted in favour of a motion welcoming the appointment of an administrator.
The motion welcomed the opportunity to respond to the Notice of Intention to Issue a Suspension Order from the Minister and also welcomed the appointment of an administrator for a period of three months to provide stability for our Council and community.
It also outlined that they would welcome the opportunity to resume representing our community in the future and that they are committed to working with the administrator and any other available support during the period of administration to address the issues raised by the Minister in her Notice.
The first draft of the motion included clauses that described the behaviour of councillors as “unacceptable”, and acknowledged the community had “lost respect for their elected representatives”.
However, those clauses were removed in an amendment proposed by councillor Dorothy Robinson.
Speaking against the amendment Deputy Mayor Libby Martin, said she was disheartened and that it was a grave injustice to remove two clauses which were areas of concern of the minister
“We need to humbly acknowledge that there are a number of problems within the governing body,” she said. “We’re not doing that by hiding some of them under the carpet.”
Mayor Simon Murray also said that he was saddened that to see two clauses removed.
“We need to accept and acknowledge our failures and we need to recognise that we have lost the support and respect of the community.”
Speaking in support of the amendment Cr Ian Tiley said that the amendment was put up to try to be conciliatory and the points were already
covered saying that ‘if we pass this motion we are showing the minister we are willing to move forward.’