Inquiry moves ahead but referendum stalls

Roslyn McCulloch, Independent Commissioner

A public hearing to be held as part of the Inquiry into Central Coast Council may be held at the end of September but the referendum on the number of Councillors will not be going ahead on September 4.

During the July 27 Central Coast Council meeting, conducted via YouTube live stream, Administrator Rik Hart, said Commissioner McCulloch had been contacting Council staff and members of the public regarding the meeting.

He said the possible September meeting was likely to be held in the Wyong Chamber of Central Coast Council and may be live streamed.

McCulloch will release a list of the names of people and groups who have made submissions but will not be releasing the actual submissions into the public domain.

According to Hart that decision is because of the defamatory and inappropriate nature of the content of some submissions.

Hart also announced that, in line with the decision made by NSW Local Government Minister, Shelley Hancock, to delay local government elections until December 4, across the whole state, Council would not be going ahead with its September 4 referendum.

Former Interim Administrator, Dick Persson, resolved to have a referendum to determine public support for reducing the number of elected Central Coast Councillors from 15 to nine and the number of wards from five to three.

Even though Minister Hancock had already suspended the next Central Coast Council election until late 2022, after the public inquiry, the compulsory referendum was still scheduled to go ahead on September 4.

Mr Hart said an alternative date had not yet been chosen for the referendum and would be determined at a future time.

Merilyn Vale and Jackie Pearson

1 Comment on "Inquiry moves ahead but referendum stalls"

  1. David Joseph DRAPER | August 8, 2021 at 9:30 am |

    Given that there has been considerable media reporting of an inquiry into the Central Coast Council and suspected defamation, that may be contained in submissions by the public, have the Police been, or are they currently involved, whereby breaches of the laws, if any, committed by council staff, are detected and documented to be produced in solid evidence, in a Court of Law

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