OLG opposes our application to join and support them in NCAT

Apparently OLG believes that as the regulator, they don’t need any help, encouragement or assistance from anyone else when they actually want to get their fingers out and regulate the bad behaviour of Councillors.

We reported last month we’d filed an application to be joined as a party in proceedings known as Office of Local Government and former councillor Funnell. We did this because of the experience of our members having been treated by this person as a councillor in a variety of unacceptable ways – threats, abuse, defaming on facebook, you name it.. We have responsibilities protecting the health and safety of our members, and if this person were to return to public office at Wagga Wagga, then it would be back on again, as it was while he was a councillor, to go the staff.

We were provided with a very tight timeframe after our application to file submissions and material and relied upon material we had already filed in proceedings related to the former councillor, but primarily focused on the OLG’s insistence upon being an investigator and regulator hiding behind the curtains. A significant proportion of those documents contained evidence about the former councillor and his attitude to staff and what he believed he could and couldn’t do to them, and how he should or shouldn’t treat them.

While OLG has the power to bring these actions to NCAT, they don’t have the responsibility to protect employees that we do, and in any event, their procedures and processes are so confidential, no one ever really knows what they’re doing and, as the recent investigation into setting up a new framework for complaints against councillor behaviour showed, the average time for OLG to conduct an investigation, that does conclude with some kind of penalty, is over 400 days!

400 days! Hardly something that stands as good evidence of a highly competent and professional business.

Significantly, in their submissions opposing us becoming a party, they focused on an assertion that we wanted to re-agitate issues in our earlier applications, one of which remains waiting for a decision. This is not the case, we thought it clear in our original submissions but made that clear in our response. It’s both interesting and disappointing how readily they fall into their cover-up of the matters we were agitating in the other proceedings.

Too many Sir Humphreys involved here.


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