Moira Shire Council pledges to improve financial reporting after petition for full independent probity audit is officially received.ROB HENSON August 20, 2014 3:36am
A petition calling for an independent probity audit into Moira Shire Council has failed, but councillors have pledged to ramp up financial reporting and act in the community’s interest.
After emotive discussion at Monday night’s monthly meeting in Katunga, Mayor Peter Mansfield used a casting vote to ensure a motion was passed, asking ‘‘VAGO (Victorian Auditor-General’s Office) auditors .
In addition, council will ‘‘continue to monitor existing internal and external audit processes and the outcomes of the CEO’s performance plan as the appropriate tools to ensure the ongoing financial viability and operational performance of the shire’’.
Cr Wendy Buck put the motion and said the independent probity audit was relevant in February, when council approved it, but the situation had now changed.
‘‘We need to get expert advice from VAGO-appointed auditors whether we need to take part in a full audit or part audit,’’ she said.
‘‘They are a new firm to be appointed to council, more independent than anyone we’ve ever had. Our CEO is as independent as they come, he’s the new kid on the block.’’
Cr Kevin Bourke unsuccessfully attempted to reinstate the full independent probity audit.
‘‘Prior to a CEO taking charge we hoped to have the final report (independent probity audit), or part of the report,’’ he said.
‘‘I feel the community has spoken. In a few days, 1100 signatures indicates the community are singing out for what we originally stood for.’’
Cr Bourke’s motion was only supported by Cr Marie Martin and failed to get a majority vote.
‘‘If you keep changing things all the time, what trust do the community have in us?’’ Cr Martin said, to applause from the public gallery.
Cr Buck said council had been cautioned through regulatory bodies to postpone any independent probity audit.
She said some of the issues of concern had been elevated to higher regulatory bodies, including the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission.
‘‘We need to put something together that is relevant to today,’’ Cr Buck said.
Cr Ed Cox said the issue had been around for too long and had ‘‘never got off on the right foot’’.
‘‘I didn’t know anything about it (independent probity audit) until the council meeting that night (in February),’’ he said.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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