RCV is disappointed at the need for the suspension of Strathbogie Shire Council.
The suspension takes effect from Wednesday, 6 December until the next local council elections in October 2024.
Rural Councils Victoria Chair Cr Mary-Ann Brown said:
“RCV is disappointed by the news that Strathbogie Shire Council has been suspended and that the councillors were unable to fully address the concerns raised in the Council Monitor’s report.
“We believe that local government has an incredibly important role to play in our communities and all Victorians deserve to be represented by a well-functioning local government.
“RCV supports the Allan government’s work to improve the behaviour and performance of councillors and wants to work with the government to ensure that situations like this can be avoided in the future.
“RCV would like to recognise the work and contribution of Strathbogie Mayor Cr Laura Binks who has served on the committee since 2021 and as deputy chair since 2022.
“At all times her commitment to good governance and strong successful local government has been evident, she has been an effective advocate for her community and for the whole RCV Rural North East region.
“We recognise that this would be an extremely difficult time for her. RCV wishes her well.
“RCV supports some of the legislative changes flagged recently by the state government and we hope that those changes can avoid a situation where entire councils must be suspended because of the actions of one or a few councillors.
“It would be disappointing for some bad apples to cloud the reputation of all local governments and councillors.
“Without some of the proposed changes, local government is in danger of losing its brightest and best and there is a risk that many younger people could be discouraged from taking part in local government, denying communities the fresh thinking and energy communities need.”