Mayor urges Councillors to seek advice

Published on 14 July 2020


 • Thursday night's Extraordinary Meeting.

A second attempt by Councillors Tom Kennedy and Bob Algate to intervene in Council staffing matters has been deemed unlawful, with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor now urging the pair to contact the Office of Local Government (OLG) over the matter.

Crs Algate and Kennedy have so far lodged two requests for Extraordinary Meetings around Council's approach to travel during the pandemic, which requests staff provide the postcode of the location where they spent the most time upon their return to work, to ensure they have not been in a COVID-19 hot spot.

The matter recently went before the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC), with the Commissioner deeming that Council's approach to travel is reasonable.

Despite this outcome Crs Kennedy and Algate again tried to question Council's position at an Extraordinary Meeting on Thursday, and their motion was again ruled unlawful by the General Manager, as it relates to staffing operations.

Deputy Mayor Christine Adams said the two Councillors needed to accept Council's position on travel during COVID-19, or approach the OLG over the matter.

"I find the conduct of these Councillors particularly disappointing given this is a serious health issue and Council's management are clearly putting measures in place to protect the health and safety of their workforce and Broken Hill," she said.

"These Councillors have already called for two extraordinary meetings on this matter and I understand they are now calling for a third.

"We have a responsibility as Councillors to approach all issues in a sensible and mature manner. Calling meeting after meeting on one topic because you don't like the outcome is just nuisance behaviour."

Mayor Darriea Turley AM also dismissed any suggestion that her support for Council’s travel measures could be perceived as a lack of support for staff.

"The staff are fully aware they have the full support of the Mayor and the elected Council, any suggestion to the contrary is disingenuous and mischievous,” she said.

"If Crs Algate and Kennedy really want to show support for staff, they should back the measures that have been implemented by Council's management to protect the workforce and the broader community from COVID-19.

“What staff don’t need is Councillors increasing the workload on employees by continually calling Extraordinary Meetings just to play political games.”

Mayor Turley said she had contacted the OLG regarding the ongoing requests for Extraordinary Meetings to deal with staffing matters, and urged Crs Kennedy and Algate to now do the same.

"The Industrial Relations Commission has deemed Council's approach to travel as reasonable, the OLG agrees that it's unlawful for Councillors to involve themselves in staffing matters, so I think it's time Crs Kennedy and Algate contacted the OLG to get some clarity and direction," said Mayor Turley.

"Councillors involving themselves in operational matters directly led to Council's dismissal in 2007, and I'll do everything in my power as Mayor to ensure that this Council is not dragged down that same path."