Councillors express disapproval over actions of Councillor Mauger at Extraordinary Council meeting

17 November, 2011

Wingecarribee Shire Councillors last night resolved to express their strong disapproval over actions of Councillor Jim Mauger at an Extraordinary Meeting of Council.

The actions of Councillor Mauger in question relate to five alleged breaches of Council’s Code of Conduct initially debated by Council on 14 September 2011.

In her initial report on the matter dated 25 August 2011, Sole Conduct Reviewer Esther McKay found four of the alleged breaches to have been sustained.

Following the September meeting, Councillors resolved to form a working group to consider the evidence in the matter. However, following advice received from the Division of Local Government, Council instead referred their concerns raised in that meeting back to the Sole Conduct Reviewer for consideration.

A supplementary report from the Sole Conduct Reviewer, addressing these areas of concern, supported the findings from the initial report.

Acting Mayor Councillor Larry Whipper said the decision to accept the Sole Conduct Reviewer’s findings in relation to Councillor Mauger was not taken lightly.

“Councillors view any breach of Code of Conduct seriously and we believe tonight’s decision will allow Council to move forward together.”

Final actions resolved to be taken against Councillor Mauger include:

  1. That Council notes the report and supplementary report relating to Code of Conduct allegations against Councillor Mauger from Sole Conduct Review, Ms Esther McKay.
  2. That Council notes a strong expression of disapproval of Councillor Mauger’s actions as detailed in the reports.
  3. That in relation to Councillor Mauger’s reference to Councillor Gair as a “maggot” during a dinner at Dormie House on 22 July 2009, Councillor Mauger acknowledges regret in respect of the same.
  4. That in respect of the use of Council’s Theatrette for the “We Still Care” meeting held on 19 June 2009, Councillor Mauger be required to pay for the same.
  5. That in relation to the question of direction of staff, and unauthorised travel expenses claim, Councillor Mauger be required to undergo counselling and training relating to these matters.

Of the eight councilors in attendance, six voted in favour of the actions. Councillor Mauger voted against the actions whilst Councillor Gair refrained from voting.

Councillor Halstead was absent from the meeting.