Suspended Councillor Kyle MacGregor, from the Wyong Ward, said he didn’t think that an Administrator was the way forward in the short or long term for our community.
“Being an elected public official gives you much more accountability and scrutiny to act in the public interest than someone external who is appointed by the Minister.
“That being said, I have heard positive things about the interim administrator and his offsider and I believe that they are highly qualified and capable persons and I wish them the best in their new role.
“As soon as staff highlighted the financial situation with us and began to provide us with accurate information, we acted swiftly in response, undertaking a range of actions and immediately focusing on the recovery plan and investigation into what went wrong and how it happened.
“I strongly encourage the administrator and state government to make any and all information regarding the financial investigation, the forensic audit, and the causes of the council’s financial woes public as soon as possible.
“Over the past few years, Council has aggressively attacked our infrastructure backlog, reducing it from over $200M to less than $150M, we have invested heavily in community infrastructure and capital works projects.
“Clearly the brakes have to be applied to the capital outlay in the immediate and short term future to ensure the swiftest recovery possible for Council’s financial position
“If projects that are currently undertaken continue to completion or are slowed and delayed rather than completely cut out, this will be a better outcome for both the council and the community in the long term.
“I am particularly concerned about the future of our water supply authority and network, privatisation or corporatisation of our most significant asset and basic human needs would be criminal. “Privatisation of the remaining inhouse childcare centres, the leisure centres, pools, seniors’ centres, slashing of frontline jobs and the sale of long term profit generating assets might be attractive to an unelected, unaccountable bureaucracy, but it would not be of any benefit to the people of the Central Coast and something that the local media and community should keep an eye on and raise concerns about if these options are on the table.
“I would encourage those making decisions now to look at the long term revenue base and model for Council into the future and to ensure that decisions made now are for the long-term benefit of our community and not knee jerk reactions to the present situation that will leave us all worse off at the end of the day.
“Over the past few years, my eyes have certainly been opened seeing how Council really works from the inside.
“I stood to make a difference for our local community, to see investment in the suburbs across the Coast that had been neglected for decades, to work towards diversifying the local economy, improving governance and transparency in the Council itself and to protect and promote the natural beauty and wonder of the Central Coast.
“What has occurred in the past month has reinforced to me the importance of these things and my commitment to making the Central Coast a better place for all people.
“I have been overwhelmed with the support that I have received from people that I have helped or community groups that I have worked with over the past few years, and it would be an honour to be elected again at the next election and continue to serve the people of the Central Coast.
“For the first time in three-and-a-half-years, I will be able to spend more than a handful of hours a week with my friends and family, and in particular my partner, Helen, and our dog, Coco the Kelpie.
“I will continue to be active and involved in the local community and whether I am a councillor or not, I will continue to do what I can to help people.”
Media statement, Nov 3