LGA hits back

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LGA hits back

Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin has delivered a stinging rebuke to a fellow civic leader in a public forum and asked him to cease commenting on certain matters.

Mayor Martin’s criticisms of Wattle Range Mayor Des Noll were made at a scheduled meeting of the Limestone Coast Local Government Association at Bordertown on Friday.

The pair were both present at the open forum in the chambers of the Tatiara District Council.

“I call upon Mayor Noll to cease commenting at all, but particularly in public spaces, on LCLGA Board matters, noting that he is no longer a member of the LCLGA Board, having resigned his position,” Mayor Martin said.

Mayor Martin is the LCLGA president and she responded via a personal statement to Mayor Noll’s repeated criticisms in the past month of the governance of the regional organisation representing seven South East councils.

“Mayor Noll has also called the governance of the LCLGA organisation and by implication, my actions as president, into question,” Mayor Martin said.

“I reject those suggestions. I have, at all times, acted properly, taken appropriate advice in accordance with LCLGA Board resolutions and managed a complex set of circumstances with a firm eye on listening, acting impartially, with fairness for all parties and with regard to protecting the reputation and responsibilities of the LCLGA.

“Clearly, Mayor Noll’s opinion and concern about these matters is noted but the LCLGA Board iterates that it is not an issue the concerns have been raised, but the fact they were raised in a separate public arena, without apparent due care for affected parties.”

In her personal statement, Mayor Martin also defended the decisions of the LCLGA Board to handle a certain personal matter on a confidential basis and then provide limited public comment.

“We, again, invite Wattle Range Council to send a representative to LCLGA Board meetings in order to enable them to be part of the full deliberations of the board, to allow us to, collectively, focus on the work at hand, work which is for the betterment of the Limestone Coast.”

Her remarks follow a tumultuous few weeks for the LCLGA with the resignation of its executive officer Adrian Maywald, appointment of interim executive officer Deb Brokenshire and a number of LCLGA Board meetings featuring confidential discussions.

Wattle Range Council has also recently had lengthy private talks on LCLGA matters, accepted Mayor Noll’s resignation from the regional body and declined to appoint a successor.

Mayor Noll and his council chief executive Ben Gower attended the LCLGA meeting at Bordertown as observers.

The SE Voice approached Mayor Noll for a response to Mayor Martin’s remarks but he declined the opportunity to comment.

His council is scheduled to pay a $191,000 levy to the LCLGA in the coming financial year.

Wattle Range Council is meeting in Millicent tonight to receive submissions on its draft 2024/25 Budget.

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