A Liberal MP has called on the Local Government Minister to investigate bullying allegations among Wyndham councillors, claiming many are “out of control”.
Speaking in parliament last week, Western Metropolitan MP Bernie Finn asked the minister to appoint someone to “inquire into the good governance level” and have, as a possibility, the prospect of appointing commissioners, “if they do not come up to scratch”.
“We have had numerous instances of councillors bullying other councillors behind closed doors,” Mr Finn said. “Councillors [are] threatening other councillors behind closed doors.”
Acknowledging the work of administrators with Brimbank council, Mr Finn suggested it was time for administrators to do the same at Wyndham.
“Wyndham is one of the fastest growing municipalities in Australia. It needs a good council; it deserves a good council,” he said.
Star Weekly has been told of at least one official complaint lodged by a councillor, who claims to be fed up with the bullying culture around the council table.
Kelly Grigsby
Kelly Grigsby
Wyndham council’s chief executive Kelly Grigsby said she had no concerns regarding the governance of council, but confirmed the organisation was investigating “matters relating to behaviour that is not in keeping with the standards outlined in the councillor code of conduct”.
“Given that the matters are unresolved, it would be inappropriate to comment on specific details,” she said.
She said the council took its obligation to provide a healthy workplace and to protect councillors from bullying and harassment very seriously.
A spokesperson for Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins indicated Wyndham would not go into administration any time soon.
“Mr Finn’s allegations need to be referred to the appropriate investigative body,” the spokesperson said.
“The minister will then consider any recommendations from those investigations.”