22 August 2016

Page 8


Council avoids the chop Continued from Page 1 Both council and the inspectorate refused to confirm the signatures stuff-up when approached by The Times earlier this month, preferring to wait until an inspectorate audit of all documentation submitted by 79 councils across Victoria was completed on Friday 12 August. Inspectorate chief municipal inspector David Wolf confirmed last Monday (15 August) that the audit found 13 of the state’s 79 councils, including Frankston, “have not complied with the requirements and those councillors and councils, under the current legislation, will be disqualified as of 1 September”. The inspectorate confirmed 107 councillors across Victoria faced disqualification. “Those councils will require administrators to be appointed for a seven-week period until the 2016 general council elections are decided,” Mr Wolf said in a statement

before the government’s intervention later in the week. Council elections to elect councillors, held every four years, are due to be held this year on 22 October. The inspectorate revealed last week the councils who failed to correctly submit signed documents were: Ballarat, Central Goldfields, Benalla, Campaspe, Cardinia, Greater Shepparton, Hobsons Bay, Frankston, Mount Alexander, Moyne, Queenscliffe, West Wimmera and Wyndham. Mornington Peninsula Shire councillor Hugh Fraser was named as one of nine individual councillors at councils not included in the 13 councils facing sanction. Cr Fraser signed the revised code of conduct but also wrote “signed under protest” on the document. Three out of 107 councillors in Victoria, including Cr Fraser, who did not properly complete the paperwork formally expressed discontent

at the conditions of the new code. None of the three dissenters are councillors at Frankston Council although The Times understands there was uncertainty over whether two councillors had signed the new code of conduct before the 4 July deadline. Frankston Labor MP Paul Edbrooke slammed council for its “incompetence” over the code of conduct debacle but thanked Mr Wynne for giving councils a reprieve so ratepayers “will not be bearing the burden and footing the bill for the council’s mistake”. “The new requirement to sign a code of conduct in front of the CEO within one month, which 66 of the 79 other councils were able to fulfil, was simple and very clear. Councils were advised on multiple occasions about this requirement,” he said in Parliament on Thursday last week. “The vast majority of Victorian councillors were able to understand it.”

Mr Edbrooke said constituents had asked him why Frankston Council “cannot sign a document properly” and wondered why council should be let off the hook when people are fined for being “two minutes late getting back to my car in a council carpark”. The MP said he did not want councillors to be removed but he urged ratepayers to think carefully at October’s council elections about who they vote for to represent Frankston. “Many residents seem to think that it is indicative of the way our council approaches things. I have a stack of emails, unfortunately, calling for councillors to be sacked.” Any new councillors elected on 22 October will have to sign a code of conduct within one month of taking office despite the new February deadline granted for existing councillors.

No witness: Frankston Council CEO Dennis Hovenden.

High school student wins prestigious award FRANKSTON High School Student and School Captain Reece Pellow has won the 2016 Annual Roy Ward Prize, one of two awards presented by the Order of Australia Association, Mornington Peninsula Regional Group. The prize is granted to a secondary student in years 11 or 12, who has shown, both in his or her school, qualities of character, leadership and community service, which exemplify Australian citizenship, over an extended period. Nominations were sent to 29 Schools in Frankston and the Mornington Peninsula. All submissions were of a very high standard and illustrated the depth of talent and commitment of young people in the region. The selection panel’s unanimously decided the submission from Reece Pellow and his impressiveness during the selection interview, warranted his selection as the 2016 Roy Ward Prize winner. His submission highlights included Reece’s leadership roles at Frankston High School from year 9 through to becoming school captain this year, and participation in the Australian Defence Force Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award, a leader and team

member in Frankston High School’s World Challenge Trip to India, participating in village life and improvements in several locations across India. Reece has hands on experience in living with people with disability and special needs. His commitment to service to others extends beyond the activities organised by the school with Reece intimately involved in Riding for the Disabled at Mornington Racecourse and “busking” to raise money for The Riding for the Disabled Association of Australia. The money raised has been used to widen the organisation’s services and buy specialised equipment. Reece has been training assistance dogs for the past 24 months and has been a speaker at Monash University to the third year nursing and paramedic students and at the Australian Centre for Grief on the topic of “what it is like growing up with a disabled sister”. The Order of Australia Association, Mornington Peninsula Group is grateful for the support of Spowers Architects in their sponsorship of the School Awards Program. Allan Pizzey AM


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Frankston Times 22 August 2016

Award for excellence: Frankston High School principal John Albiston, left, Frankston High School senior campus principal Helen Wilson, Allan Pizzey AM (Order of Australia Association), Reece Pellow, Brian Stahl OAM (Order of Australia Association) and Bruce Billson.

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