Public Inquiry into Blue Mountains City Council
Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton has announced a public inquiry into Blue Mountains City Council to investigate serious allegations relating to asbestos management and organisational governance.
A public inquiry will provide an independent, open and transparent process to determine the facts and help address the serious issues impacting on the council.
Barrister Richard Beasley, SC, has been appointed as Commissioner to conduct the inquiry. Mr Beasley has more than 30 years of experience as a legal practitioner and a comprehensive knowledge of administrative law.
“Blue Mountains residents have had no choice but to stand by as their council continues to be engulfed in serious allegations impacting on its operation and performance,” Ms Upton said.
“A public inquiry will get to the bottom of these matters once and for all in an open and transparent way. It will also help ensure local residents can have faith that their council is in a strong position to represent their best interests.”
The public inquiry will examine:
- The track record of both the council and the councillors in dealing with asbestos management issues since 2012 including funding and co-operation with State Government agencies;
- The council’s processes surrounding the employment of certain staff and contractors including those engaged to conduct independent investigations into asbestos management and employment issues;
- Whether the council and councillors are facilitating a consultative and supportive working environment;
- The council’s compliance with its statutory responsibilities under the Local Government Act; and
- The council’s organisational structure and allocation of resources.
In November last year, the council ordered independent investigations into asbestos management and staff recruitment practices following serious allegations made against it. Read more...