Administrator releases submission-in-reply to the Public Inquiry into Central Coast Council
Wednesday, 10 November 2021
Central Coast Council Administrator, Mr Rik Hart has today released his submission-in-reply provided to the Commissioner leading the Public Inquiry into Central Coast Council, following the conclusion of the public hearings.
Mr Hart said his submission-in-reply outlines eight recommendations for the Commissioner’s consideration.
“The Commissioner invited those who had previously provided a submission to the Inquiry and evidence at the public hearings to provide a further submission-in-reply. From listening to witnesses, I feel it is imperative the Commissioner, and the community for that matter, understand the sheer magnitude of what we were dealing with, particularly in the first two months of Administration, and the timeline in my submission clearly indicates this,” Mr Hart said.
“Mapping out this timeline and additional evidence, is not to gain sympathy from the community. In the community reviewing this, I can only hope it can be appreciated and understood of the fast-paced environment we were working within, the constraints placed on us, and the hard decisions required. Fast action and key decisions needed to occur, and the idea touted that the then leaders and Councillors could have achieved the same results is clearly incorrect.
Mr Hart outlines over the 12-month period at Council, experience to date appears to show none of the state government agencies had any experience in dealing with a local government entity being placed into receivership and being required to seek commercial solutions.
“I have formed the strong view that the State Government did not fully understand the consequences of the initial decision to request that we seek commercial funding to support the business. This decision further complicated Council’s ability to financial recover” said Mr Hart.
“Following the public inquiry hearings and upon reviewing transcripts, there is some key information that also requires correction, in particular is the testimonies of Mr Halstead and Mr Sansom, and this submission outlines those inaccuracies. However, I can support a number of Mr Sansom’s observations.
“My submission-in-reply provides further context and considerations for the Commissioner in making her final determination to the Public Inquiry into Central Coast Council, we now wait that report.”