Contrary to the views of Lucy Wicks, Adam Crouch and the Administrator I am sure that the Liberal Party Central Coast Council amalgamation was a failure of their making.
This is because they simply overlooked all the levels of Government management that should have been actioned to manage the amalgamation.
It is way too simplistic for the Administrator lay it all at the feet of the councillors.
The operation of Wyong and Gosford Councils comes under the Local Government Act, the public Finance and Audit Act and the control of the NSW State Government which has a Minister for Local Government, the Treasurer and the NSW Audit Office (which is supposed to audit the operations of Local Government).
Over the time periods that have been addressed in the Administrator’s report, from the time of the separate (councils) to the amalgamated council both Wyong and Gosford (councils) were under the control of the NSW Liberal Government without a doubt.
It is also apparent that the implementation of the Liberal Government amalgamation policy – a major change and challenge to normal council operations – should (have) been closely overseen and managed by the NSW Liberal Government.
But the fact is it was not.
The obvious failure of the amalgamation policy clearly is that it was totally mismanaged through the amalgamation phase without (the) high level oversight necessary (for) such an important activity.
The Administrator does not address the many layers of government, checks and balances that should have been in place.
Nor does he address the apparent “newness” of many of the councillors and the important need to assist and manage them through the amalgamation.
The councillors (though not without blame) and the ratepayers were seriously let down by the NSW Liberal Government in its ineffective management.
This is not an issue that the Liberal Party can put a smoke screen over in a glib report and lay it all at the feet of the councillors.
Effective amalgamation management would have seen especially thorough audits before, during and after to uncover any funding mismanagement or errors of judgement by councillors.
But is seems it just wasn’t done.
Email, April 24
Kevin Chaloner, Empire Bay