The City of Casey and the newly appointed interim Administrator, Ms Noelene Duff, are getting on with delivering infrastructure and services to meet the needs of Casey’s fast growing and diverse community.
Earlier this week the CEO, Glenn Patterson, and Executive met with Ms Duff to discuss how best to work together to modernise the way Council does business, and opportunities to increase input for the Casey community’s voice while the organisation is under Administration until 2024.
Ms Duff was appointed interim Administrator of Casey from 20 February 2020 for a period of 90 days, or until a panel of three administrators is appointed for the Council, whichever occurs earlier.
A key focus of the Administrator(s) is ensuring the recommendations of the Casey Municipal Monitor, Ms Laurinda Gardner, are implemented, including:
- a thorough review and embedding of policies, procedures and processes for more effective decision-making and responsibilities, and
- the development and implementation of an extensive municipal wide program to develop more diverse community leaders, greater participation in setting a vision for Casey, and more awareness and interest in local democracy, the role of Council and the responsibilities of Councillors.
Discussions this week focused on how a more contemporary environment can be created to support greater engagement and opportunities for the community’s voice to be heard, and how the organisation and the Administrator(s) can be more transparent to residents, ratepayers and other key stakeholders in decision making.
“We are all acutely aware of the community’s concerns around not having elected representatives to be their voice when Council makes decisions about infrastructure, investments and services, which directly impact the people who live in, work and visit Casey,” Ms Duff said.
“Already a more comprehensive program of work to support a Community Engagement Policy and Program is in development to complement and strengthen engagement and participation and grow awareness of the role of Council.
“For next week’s Council meeting we are also introducing some changes that support greater inclusiveness and transparency, including introducing the full statement of acknowledgement; making the Council agenda publicly available earlier to give the community more time to read reports and submit their questions; addressing all questions submitted by the public, irrespective of whether or not submitters are present in the gallery; and removing the previous Council’s practice of ‘en bloc’ voting, meaning each report will be considered and discussed to provide the community greater insight and more transparency in how decisions are being made.
“While not an elected representative of the Casey community, I will fulfill my role in decision making for Council and residents and ratepayers with due regard to fairness and transparency and always with the current and future community’s bests interests at heart.
“My meetings this week with the CEO and Executive has given me a strong sense of confidence in the organisation and I echo the Municipal Monitor’s comments that the “City of Casey benefits from having an experienced CEO and a strong executive team” who “are managing the current situation professionally and calmly” with staff being constructive and continuing to serve the Casey community with no impact on service delivery to ratepayers.”
Casey CEO, Glenn Patterson, said: “The Executive and I welcome the opportunity to work in such a constructive manner with Ms Duff as we pull together to modernise the way we do business and enhance opportunities for greater community engagement and ways of demonstrating greater transparency in decision making, while also getting on with delivering infrastructure and services to meet the needs of our growing and diverse communities,” he said.
“As previously expressed, I believe the organisation and the residents of Casey can only benefit from having such an astute and experienced Administrator as Ms Duff to help us rebuild confidence in the community.”
While in office, Administrators must perform all the functions, powers and duties of a Councillor of the City of Casey, as set out in the Local Government Act 1989.