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MOTOR FEATURE, PAGE 24
BELLARINE’S NUMBER ONE NEWSPAPER
Works start on new $5.7m school EDUCATION Minister James Merlino and Bellarine MP Lisa Neville turned the first sod to start construction on the new $5.7 million Portarlington Primary School last week. The project will fix rising damp and mould, rotting woodwork, poor ventilation, peeling paintwork and asbestos.
Education Minister and Deputy Premier James Merlino, Bellarine MP Lisa Neville and students from Portarlington Primary School. 162731
Forensic audit BELLARINE MP Lisa Neville announced that the State Government was commencing a forensic audit of Bellarine Community Health (BCH) after allegations of a misappropriation of funds. Ms Neville said the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) had written to the chair of BCH to outline the decision to undertake the audit and that this would involve a detailed examination of the circumstances surrounding the alleged fraud. The inquiry will look at the al-
leged misappropriation of funds from the public dental service, and assess whether the risks that led to the alleged fraud of the public dental service could apply to other parts of the organisation. “We will continue to press Bellarine Community Health to make the changes needed to rebuild confidence in the community,” Ms Neville said. “This audit will look closely at issues relating to financial management within the organisation. We also need to consider whether other organisations are better placed to deliver the services our local residents need.”
Bellarine Community Health said it would respond fully to the department including providing any information regarding advice received from the department and funding bodies. “I would like to reassure the community that Bellarine Community Health acted immediately when this matter was brought to our attention and acted in accordance with the advice provided. The organisation has also undertaken a review of its procedures and processes and implemented new checks and controls,” Bellarine Community Health chair Hazel Ingram said.
“At all times, Bellarine Community Health has operated with integrity and acted in good faith on the advice we were given.” The audit will: Investigate all financial and other transactions related to the alleged misappropriation of funds by a BCH employee. Investigate the financial management controls, procedures and systems in place at BCH for both the public dental clinic, and the broader organisation. Investigate the operation of appropri-
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ate governance controls. Investigate risk management and fraud controls. Assess the adequacy of the board and management response to the alleged fraud and ensure fraudulent activity can’t happen in the future. Assess compliance of BCH with standards under section 51 of the Health Services Act 1988 (Vic) relating to governance, management, financial management and risk management.