An administrator may replace Wingecarribee Shire Councillors after a decision from the State Government.
A notice of intention to suspend Wingecarribee Shire Councillors has been issued by the Minister for Local Government after repeated calls from the community and state MPs.
Read also: MPs urge minister to suspend council
After constant in fighting, Minister for Local Goverment Shelley Hancock has issued a notice to suspend councillors and appointed an interim administrator for the next three months.
It follows concerns over the council's ability to function properly.
Minister Hancock said in a release to the Southern Highland News that the notice followed "a worsening, ongoing breakdown of relationships between councillors and senior staff."
She said council now had seven days to explain why it should not be suspended and an independent administrator appointed to identify and address the serious issues.
Council staff will not be affected.
A Performance Improvement Order for Wingecarribee Shire Council was announced in September 2020.
In the release to Southern Highland News Minister Hancock said that "mediation and training provided to the mayor and councillors and appointment of a temporary adviser under a PIO did not have the desired effect of addressing the issues facing the council."
The Minister is required under the Local Government Act to provide the council with the opportunity to make any submission before making a final determination on suspension.
By law the Minister must consider any submission before making a final decision.
The interim administrator would perform the functions of the mayor and councillors.
In a statement made to the Southern Highland News prior to the suspension notice, Councillor Graham McLaughlin said that if council was put in to administration it would deprive the community of a voice.
"It would be a very sad and regrettable decision," he said.
"It would likely be that way for several years. Do the community really want that to happen with only five months to go to another election for this council?"
Following the news, Cr McLaughlin said he was sad and disappointed in the decision.
"However, the three months will mean the community can vote for a new council," he said.
Minister Shelley Hancock was contact for comment.
Mayor Duncan Gair was also contacted for comment.
More to come.
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