Media Releases

Administrator appointed to Balranald Shire Council

Shelley Hancock – Minister for Local Government

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Balranald Shire Council has been dismissed following a public inquiry which found it is plagued by entrenched performance and behavioural issues.

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock accepted the recommendation from the independent commissioner of the public inquiry to dismiss the council’s mayor and councillors and appoint an administrator to address financial and structural issues.

The report, which has been tabled in Parliament, found:

  • The council has failed to command the confidence of its community
  • Councillors have failed to appreciate the need for sound and consistent financial principles, with division among councillors affecting decision making;
  • An absence of understanding by councillors of the importance of transparency in decision making, including inappropriate closure of council meetings;
  • The council has failed to act as a responsible employer, particularly regarding the interaction between councillors and council staff, resulting in the loss of valuable personnel; and
  • The council has failed to comply with its obligations as Reserve Trust Manager under the Crown Lands Act in relation to Balranald Caravan Park.

“I have not taken the decision to dismiss the council lightly,” Mrs Hancock said.

“The ratepayers of Balranald Shire deserve a strong council that is representing the best interests of the community.

“I have accepted the recommendation by Commissioner Roslyn McCulloch to dismiss the elected representatives and appoint an administrator to perform the role of the mayor and councillors until 2024.

“This course of action will provide the best possible way to strengthen the operation, performance and sustainability of the council and ensure it is serving the best interests of the local community.”

Mike Colreavy has been appointed administrator of Balranald Shire Council. Mr Colreavy has 37 years’ experience in the local government sector at metropolitan, regional and rural councils including holding various general manager positions.

The report of the public inquiry can be found on the Office of Local Government website here.

MEDIA: Nicholas Story | 0438 255 020