Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Moira cameras protect staff

Moira Shire Council director defends 24-hr security measure around municipality's public entrances.

ROB HENSON May 23, 2014 3:59am

Candid on cameras: Moira Shire Council director of community Peter Bertolus dismissed suggestions cameras installed at council premises were for anything other than security.

Cameras installed at entrances to Moira’s Cobram and Yarrawonga shire offices were in direct response to threats and violence from ratepayers, Moira Shire director of community Peter Bertolus said.

‘‘Cameras were put in foyers and approaches to offices, entrances, doors, 24-hours-a-day as a security measure,’’ Mr Bertolus said at Monday night’s meeting in Waaia.

‘‘Staff have been threatened by people not happy with what’s going on in council.

‘‘It’s been so that we’ve had to have male members of staff to stand in the foyer while people come in.’’

He added that there were no more cameras ‘‘that we are aware of’’ in the council offices.

‘‘An ongoing problem in this connected world we live in, most computers have cameras on screens.’’

Mr Bertolus said the cameras could could also guard against ‘‘hackers’’.

‘‘It’s extremely unlikely, but we have had tests to make sure that does not happen.’’

He dismissed suggestions from unions the cameras could be used for purposes other than security.

Shire’s financial tick of approval

The shire’s financial position have been given the green light, despite minority opposition from councillors Marie Martin and Kevin Bourke.

Council staff reported that ‘‘council is in a good underlying financial position as at April 30, and will continue to be, provided capital income, capital expenditure and operational growth are managed prudently’’.

Cr Bourke said he had major concerns about council’s financial position.

‘‘Drainage capital works are being deferred, other thing are being deferred, $600000 is being deferred yet I can’t see anywhere we’ve allowed for that.’’

Cr Wendy Buck said the items were ‘‘under review’’ and a final judgment had not yet been made

‘‘Some extenuating circumstances come into play, like weather and time.’’

He also said council should be given the report of an internal audit committee, to which council director of corporate governance Alison Coe said it would be supplied to council in a confidential meeting.

Cr Martin said she also did not find the financial figures acceptable.

‘‘The audit report, while we receive it tonight, that’s not a lot of time to go through it.’’

Bridge route petition handed to council

Yarrawonga Green route group’s John Laws presented a petition of 10000 signatures in support of their preferred bridge route.

More than 5000 signatures were collected from area locals, including Barooga residents, while more than 4000 were taken from visitors.

State Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy and Moira Shire Council support the Green route, while VicRoads, Corowa Shire Council and NSW Roads and Maritime Services hold alternative views.

Mr Laws said, as a former Moira councillor, he had been involved in discussions about the replacement Cobram bridge.

‘‘So I know how crucial it is we get the right bridge in the right place.’’

Supermarket plans approved

A supermarket extension in Numurkah has received development approval after objections forced 28 conditions to the original proposal.

The extension for the supermarket on Melville St includes staff facilities, delivery yard and 20 car parks.

Cr Wendy Buck said the application had been in the works on and off for about six years.

‘‘All issues have been resolved as they came up.’’

She said the business currently employed 64 and there was potential for 15 more jobs.

‘‘It’s extremely important that we as a shire are supporting small business.

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