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On 14 October 2015, the Minister for Planning and Local Government, Peter Gutwein MP, announced the establishment of a Board of Inquiry under section 215(1)(b) of the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) to investigate the Glenorchy City Council.
The Minister has established the Board of Inquiry because he was satisfied that:
(a) following considerable and ongoing public concern and investigations by the Director of Local Government, significant divisions continue to exist within the Glenorchy City Council as well as between elected members and senior staff;
(b) such divisions and poor relationships adversely impact on governance arrangements and are not conducive to good decision making;
(c) all efforts to overcome the divisions within the Council have failed; and
consequently justifies the establishment of a Board of Inquiry to investigate the Glenorchy City Council under Section 215 of the Act.
The function of a Board of Inquiry is to conduct an inquiry into any matter referred to it by the Minister responsible for local government and to make recommendations to the Minister as a result of its inquiry. A Board of Inquiry is to conduct an inquiry with as little formality and technicality as a proper consideration of the matter before it permits and must observe the rules of natural justice.
The powers and functions of the Board of Inquiry are set out in Part 13, Division 1 of the Act. The Terms of Reference are provided for your information.
The members of the Board of Inquiry are Mr Barry Easther and Ms Lynn Mason, with secretarial support from the Local Government Division of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Mr Easther is a previous Mayor of the West Tamar Council and a past President of the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT).
Ms Mason is a former President of LGAT, former Mayor of the Flinders Council, former Director of Quadrant Superannuation Fund and Chairwoman of Metro Tasmania, and the Tasmanian Community Fund.
The Board is to provide a report with its findings and recommendations to the Minister once it has completed its investigations and complied with the requirements of His Honour, Chief Justice Blow's judgementin the matter of Branch-Allen V Easther & Ors 507 of 2016.
For further information on the Inquiry please contact the Board Secretariat either by telephone on (03) 6232 7022 or by email to email@example.com.