Sunday, April 09, 2006

So corruption exposed

Melbourne City Council must come clean and those responsible held accountable

The Herald Sun Editorial dated April 5, 2006 ( Extract blow) is damming and raises more issues that must be addressed.

Why did the Council fail to cooperate with the State Ombudsman Department? What's more important is that when this issue was identified nothing was done to address the concerns raised. instead the Council became involved in a cover-up and engaged in a conspiracy of deceit.

If Alison Lyon, Melbourne City Council's former Legal Officer, had not already resigned then we would be calling for her to be sacked. Ms Lyons resigned earlier this year prior to the release of the Obmbudsman report. Other heads must roll, those responsible for this disgrace conduct and blatant misuse and abuse of authority must be held accountable.

When did Melbourne's Lord Mayor and other Councillor's first become aware of the problems and why was there nothing said or done until this issue was exposed by the State Ombudsman department?

Who else was involved in the conspiracy of silence?

These are serious issues pertaining to the administration and cultural environment within the City Council, Council officers believe they are unaccountable and have on many occasions demonstrated there persistence to avoid accountability by consistently refusing to publish information and details of the Council's administration. They are even prepared to misuse council funds to avoid responsibility and accountability. Much more needs to be said about the goings on in the City Council.

The Herald Sun was critical of Melbourne's Lord Mayor and Councillors and rightly so. They have been implicated in the fall-out. Too busy jet-setting off, drinking and partying to fulfill their responsibility.

What role did Garry Singer, Melbourne's Deputy Lord Mayor and John So's right hand man, play in this cover-up. he was responsible for Council's finances and the Council's representative on the City's internal audit committee.? Surely he was aware of what was going on if not then why not?

John So must demonstrate that he has the ability to not just win smiles and popularity contests he must prove that he is capable of providing good governance.

A full and detailed review needs to be undertaken of the Council's governance department to try and weed out the corrupt practices and wrong doings. The City Council MUST come clean and provide a fully transparent and accountable administration before the stench becomes to much to bare.

This issue is far from over and more answers must be forthcoming.

The Town Hall bounty hunters

MOTORISTS have always suspected it. Now they know.

Melbourne City Council is using parking fines, not to bring traffic order, but as an outrageous revenue raiser.
Anyone who doubted the existence of this Town Hall rort now has the word of the State Ombudsman. who in a report reveals that the city's 120 parking officers are being deployed as bounty hunters.

The quarry are the unlucky motorists who annually have $27 million dollars ripped from their wallets.

The report says there was evidence of Melbourne City Council managers bullying and harassing parking officers into meeting a quota of 30 fines a day. If they don't measure up, they risk the sack.

The Ombudsman's report says that even after legal advice that tickets in Docklands were unenforceable, the council continued to issue them. The report says the council has no policy of making refunds for incorrect or invalid tickets.

Most serious is the allegation that senior council managers sought to obstruct the Ombudsman's inquiry and that investigators found evidence council staff altered records to cover up the Docklands blunder.

Let's hear what you plan to do, Lord Mayor John So.

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