Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

6 October 2016

Peter Gutwein, Minister for Planning and Local Government

Huon Valley Council

This morning at a meeting of the Executive Council, I recommended to Her Excellency the Governor that she dismiss the Huon Valley Council.

Her Excellency agreed to that request and I have today written to each of the Huon Valley Councillors informing them of that decision.

This is not something that the Government takes lightly, but this is an appropriate response to a very serious situation. 

The dismissal of the councillors comes as a result of the Council’s failure to comply with my Ministerial Directions, which were the result of the Board of Inquiry report into the Huon Council.

The Directions were designed to rebuild key relationships and address issues relating to transparency, accountability and communication.

The Board of Inquiry recommended that the Council either be dismissed or, alternatively, that the Council be given six months to resolve the issues identified by the Board. 

The Government decided it would be best if the Huon Valley Council was afforded the opportunity to resolve its issues.

Unfortunately, it has become clear that the Council was unable to comply with the Ministerial Directions and I was left with no choice but to recommend to the Governor that the Council be dismissed.

The Government is now focussed on ensuring that the Huon community has stable leadership and I will be in a position to announce the appointment of a Commissioner very shortly with the appointment to be effective from Monday, 10 October.

The Commissioner’s appointment will be for an initial period of 12 months.  At the end of that period the Government will consider whether to extend the Commissioner’s appointment or to call an election.

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