Councillors’ suspension extended by three months

Former Council Administrator, Dick Persson

The suspension of Central Coast councillors has been extended for a further three months, with Administrator Dick Persson set to continue holding the reins until the end of April.

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the decision followed a request from Persson for more time so he can continue to develop and implement a comprehensive recovery strategy to address the financial crisis facing Central Coast Council.

“The interim administrator’s 30-day report alone made a compelling case for more time to address the significant financial issues and dysfunction plaguing the council,” Hancock said.

“There is no doubt that he needs more time to develop and implement his recovery strategy to restore stability and address the significant reputational, financial and organisational issues.

“In particular, Mr Persson is focusing on recruiting a new general manager and putting a new budget in place for next financial year.

“Mr Persson and acting general manager Rik Hart have done an outstanding job to date and I thank them for their efforts in these very challenging circumstances.”

Under the Local Government Act, the Minister can extend the period of suspension for up to three months if she believes it is necessary to restore the proper or effective functioning of the Council.

As required by law, notice has been served on the Council advising of the intention to extend the period of suspension.

The current three-month suspension period expires on January 29.

The order to formally extend suspension until April 29 will be published in the Government Gazette.

Media release, Jan 25
Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock