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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Board of Inquiry - Huon Valley Council

Dismissal of councillors and appointment of a commissioner

Following the recent Board of Inquiry into the Huon Valley Council, and as a result of the Council’s failure to comply with at least one of the Ministerial Directions issued on 15 June 2016, the Huon Valley councillors were dismissed, effective 10 October 2016, with Ms Adriana Taylor appointed Commissioner for the Council, for a period of 12 months. As Commissioner, Ms Taylor will have the authority to exercise the powers and perform the functions of the councillors of the Huon Valley Council.

The Huon Valley Council Board of Inquiry Report, along with the Ministerial Response to the Report and the associated Ministerial Directions, were released on 15 June 2016.


On 8 September 2015, the Minister for Planning and Local Government, Peter Gutwein MP, announced the establishment of a Board of Inquiry under section 215(1)(b) the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) to investigate the Huon Valley Council. 

The Minister's announcement followed the receipt of a series of complaints about the behaviours of members of the council and senior staff that were made to the Minister and the Director of Local Government.  These complaints were potentially impacting the Council’s ability to effectively perform its roles and functions under the Act.

The Board of Inquiry was established in response to:

  • complaints by councillors against the Mayor, alleging non-compliance with the functions of mayor under the Local Government Act;
  • complaints by ratepayers against councillors, raising code of conduct and financial governance issues;
  • complaints by the Mayor against the General Manager relating to failure to fulfil functions under the Act;
  • complaints by the General Manager against the Mayor about non-compliance with the Act and other issues; and
  • complaints by the Mayor and another councillor against the Council, raising governance and operational issues.

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 Board of Inquiry handed its final report to the Minister for Planning and Local Government, Peter Gutwein MP on 3 June 2016.

On 15 June 2016, the Minister released the Board of Inquiry's report and announced his response to the report.

Membership of the Board

The members of the Board of Inquiry were Mr Michael Stevens and Ms Jill Taylor, with secretariat support from the Local Government Division of the Department of Premier and Cabinet. 

Mr Stevens previously held a number of senior executive positions in the Tasmanian State Service, including Deputy Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Department of Justice, and Commissioner for Public Employment.  

Ms Taylor has acted as a Chairperson and member of the Local Government Association of Tasmania Standards Panel and is now a member of the Councillor Code of Conduct Panel.  She is a former member of the Legal Profession Tribunal and former independent Probity Auditor.

Submissions to the Inquiry

Submissions to the Inquiry closed on 9 October 2015. A total of 80 submissions were received.

Further information 

For further information on the Inquiry please contact the Local Government Division either by telephone on (03) 6232 7022 or by email to