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Collapse Issue 517:<br />19 Apr 2021<br />_____________Issue 517:
19 Apr 2021
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Persson calls for administration while merger proceeds
Crouch to petition Minister for public inquiry into council
Mingaletta in consortium to deliver housing program
Tickets provided for Anzac services
Climber taken to hospital with multiple injuries
Titanic Dinner was 'fabulously successful'
Palm tree installed during the night
First concert after aged care home lockdown
Community group joins in bank celebrations
Book fair raises $8500
Rotary club views stained-glass panels
Minister seeks ideas for church statement of purpose
Tesch calls for grant applications
CWA branch to hold second stall
CWA branch seeks support for grant application
Multi-unit development proposal retains existing house
New council chief has rebuilt councils, says Crouch
Panel denies planning document exhibition problems
Medical centre plan 'designed to maximise site usage'
Decision on Mrs Wilson's Shop is deferred
Government reviews planning provision variations
Tree group calls for submissions on State design policy
'Excellent' water quality in Booker and Woy Woy Bays
First transfer made
Bays group gears up for more events
Star jumps at PCYC
Bags of food for Coast Shelter
Busy Easter weekend for Marine Rescue
St John youth group gathering
Easter eggs to competition winners
Rotary member attends world service conference
Anzac service at Pearl Beach
CWA members have history of quilting
Road safety forum at Gosford
Small businesses should apply for rebate, says Tesch
Charities share in profits
Little rain in last three weeks
Precedents take over from planning provisions
Creating a safe world for politicians and developers
When 8-4=0: 'No cuts' to ABC budget
Cumulative impact of Council decisions not considered
Best of friends
Rugs and blankets donated to palliative care project
The face of a new service at Woy Woy
Staying active is key to preventing falls
Buggy rides a regular event
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Jewellery class finishes term one
Visit to Monet exhibition at Moore Park
Writers' festival program is released
College wins ribbons at Royal Easter Show
Students receive White Cards and barista certificates
Catholic school enrolments open
Community childcare to hold annual meeting
Schools to receive new roofs
College cross country attracts 200 students
Students set sights on goalball championships
Pre-schoolers have a look inside worm farm
Cross country carnival at Woy Woy South
Young official of the year
Umina hold junior presentation day
Bailey Meti wins Singles event in state championships
President's Cup bridge results
Mixed pairs bridge championship
First trial game
Lessons on bridge cardplay strategy
Southern Spirit to hold presentation nights
Under-10 girls selected for Central Coast girls' team
Pennant wins to Ettalong Eagles
First round loss for Woy Woy Lions
Rugby League results
Umina bowls results


Persson calls for administration while merger proceeds

Central Coast Council administrator Mr Dick Persson has recommended "a formal inquiry to determine what is needed to achieve the successful merger of the two previous Councils" in his final report to Local Government Minister Ms Shelley Hancock.

He also recommended the Minister "prevent the return of the currently suspended councillors" and "delay the September election" until after his recommended inquiry.

Mr Persson rejected calls for a fresh inquiry into what went wrong, stating that he had already done this.

"Usually such an inquiry is held by an independent person with extensive experience in the subject matter.

"Well with due respect to some members of the community, that is who and what I am.

"I have carried out an independent investigation into what has occurred at Central Coast Council.

Mr Persson acknowledged that "the merger of Gosford and Wyong Councils did not have strong community support at the outset".

"Regrettably, the performance of the councillors did little to build community support.

"In fact, I feel there is quite widespread community antagonism towards the new entity."

Mr Persson implied that the situation was exacerbated by the fact that councillors were not faced with a merged council as a fait accompli when they were returned in 2017.

"There is considerable evidence that the merger was incomplete when the elected body returned in September 2017, and that there was little interest or effort in gaining further efficiencies-savings by the newly-elected body."

He said that neither the councillors nor the former chief executive were interested in achieving "merger-related savings".

"On the contrary, the council expanded all aspects of council spending with little regard or understanding of the financial consequences."

Mr Persson said: "My investigation has concluded that by far, the greatest reason the council became insolvent was due to mismanagement of their budget over the years following the merger and leading up to their suspension", although "unusual circumstances ... accelerated the collapse of the operating budget".

"Nothing excuses the negligence of those in charge for their relative inaction, which was manifestly much too little and much too late," he said.

Mr Persson said the use of Restricted Reserves, while not unimportant, was not the reason why the budget blew out.

"Even if those in charge thought those funds could be used for their expanded spending, they must have known they would eventually run out.

"To use them for capital spending is one thing, but to use them to prop up a rapidly deteriorating bottom line is inexcusable at best, and negligent at worse.

"None of those involved have explained what they were going to do when the Restricted Reserves ran out."

Mr Persson said that the best outcome for the council and the Central Coast would be a further extended period under administration.

This would allow the new general manager and the new administrator "adequate time to complete the merger and re-build community confidence, without the distraction of elected representatives intent on playing out broader political agendas".

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