Wollondilly MP Nathaniel Smith and Goulburn MP Wendy Tuckerman have urged the Minister of Local Government Shelley Hancock to suspend Wingecarribee Shire Council.
In a letter written to the minister, Smith and Tuckerman asked Hancock to use her powers under the Local Government Act.
"On September 8, 2020 you issued a Performance Improvement Order (PIO) to the council to "strengthen relationships between elected representatives and prevent dysfunction"," they said in a joint statement.
"We supported the PIO as we believed it was desirable for council to resolve its internal difficulties and return to focusing on delivering positive outcomes for the community.
Regrettably, we are of the view that the PIO has not achieved its desired outcome. Council meetings, which are held online, continue to fail to meet the Model Code of Meeting Practice for Local Councils in NSW. Councillors are regularly muted or even banished to virtual waiting rooms.
Smith and Tuckerman said the behaviour of councillors was contributing to poor decision-making and poor outcomes for the community.
"We also express concern at allegations that we have received that council is not acting in an open and transparent manner regarding major projects it intends to undertake," they said.
"In addition to the community's loss of confidence in the elected officials, we believe there may be significant management issues contributing to the council's inability to deal with the matters at hand. Moreover, we, along with the community, are particularly concerned that council has commenced a process to appoint a new general manager at a time when it is heavily divided and dysfunctional.
"Both our electorate offices have been inundated with complaints regarding this recruitment decision. It has also led to a Petition to the NSW Parliament, organised rallies in the shire, and enormous disquiet within the community."
Both Smith and Tuckerman said that they did not think the current council was fit to make a significant appointment due to the current dysfunction and poor decision making.
"As State Members of Parliament we have patiently waited for the Mayor and Councillors to abide by the PIO," they said.
"However, they have failed to heed our advice and continue to fail the communities they represent.
"We, therefore, request urgent intervention."
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