The return of the Council and democratic leadership to the people of the Armidale Regional Council area has been welcomed by Interim Administrator Viv May.

“In my first Minute to Council in June 2020, I stated that the ARC community deserved better from its Council and committed to work to restore a democratically elected body as soon as possible,” Mr May said.

The Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock, announced today the councillors would be reinstated from 12 December, with strict controls under a proposed Performance Improvement Order issued by the NSW Government.

The Minister served the Council with the proposed Order on Friday, clearly outlining the Government’s expectations and bringing strong oversight provisions on the returning councillors.

Mr May said Council is in a rebuilding phase and its “financial management weaknesses have been identified and are being addressed”.

“It is pleasing the Minister has recognised the hard work of many people during the past six months, which has given a clear picture of the state of the Council and what needs to be done to restore confidence and trust of the community,” he said.

“The proposed Performance Improvement Order and the very strong independent oversight on councillors clears the way for the return of councillors and limits opportunities for further mismanagement.

“I welcome the Order. It is a comprehensive approach to the management of what was a toxic environment and will allow the return of the Council and democratic leadership to the people of this region.” 

Mr May said an honest, open and transparent approach to decision making has been introduced to ARC over the past six months and he expected  this will continue with the return of elected members.

Mr May will remain as Interim Administrator until 11 December 2020 and has emphasised he will continue to drive a reform agenda.

“I continue to be available to meet with and assist residents,” he said.

Published on 23 Nov 2020