Moira Shire Council sacked after Rick Devlin was murdered by laborer Andrew Paterson
An entire local council has lost its job less than two years after a senior manager was gunned down by a disgruntled employee.
Events after the murder, governance concerns, flood control efforts, construction of key infrastructure, transport of asbestos and other issues including health and safety were also investigated by a commission of inquiry from Moira Shire Council in north Victoria.
On Tuesday, the state government introduced legislation to dismiss the council and appoint an administrator, as recommended by the commission.
It is expected that a new election for the city council will not take place until 2028.
Local Government Minister Melissa Horne called the report “deeply concerning”.
Local Government Minister Melissa Horne (pictured) said she was dismissing the entire Moira Shire Council based on the recommendations of an inquiry
“Councils must properly represent the communities they serve, and Moira residents deserve a council that puts their best interests first,” Ms Horne said in a statement.
“A rolling panel of administrators will follow this interim appointment and will be tasked with addressing the serious issues identified in the report in order for elections to be held in Moira Shire in 2028.
‘I am confident that the Administrators will restore good governance to Moira Shire Council and lay a foundation for building effective governance, project delivery, community engagement and a positive culture within the Council.’
The Commission has presented the coroner with evidence of events surrounding the death of the Council’s operations manager, Rick Devlin.
Former Council staffer Andrew Robert Paterson is serving a minimum 21-year sentence after pleading guilty to the murder of Mr Devlin in August 2021.
The court heard in October 2022 how Paterson shot Mr Devlin – once in the chest and once in the head – as he stood in the driveway of his rural home in Victoria.
In August 2021, Moira Shire Council operations manager Rick Devlin (pictured) was shot dead by his colleague in a “revenge” attack at his home in north Victoria
He wrongly believed Mr Devlin had been involved in a campaign of harassment against him at work, although the men had no daily contact.
The Shepparton Supreme Court had previously heard that Devlin was not Paterson’s line manager, but he blamed the manager for problems he was having at work.
The commission report states that there is good reason to believe that Mr Devlin’s death may have been avoidable and that the area surrounding the Nathalia depot where Mr Paterson worked was generally unsafe.
“These events and their tragic consequences represent a catastrophic failure of governance on many levels,” the report said.
Council executives should have been aware of the risks at the depot since 2017, when an outside investigator found evidence of a dysfunctional and toxic culture.
The entire Moira Shire council was dismissed after an inquiry found the council had “serious problems”. The investigation was launched following the assassination of a community leader
The Commission has also referred two cases of alleged corrupt behavior to the independent Broad Anti-Corruption Commission.
The report found that Moira Shire Council’s governance had deteriorated to such a level that it was no longer able to carry out its duties under the Local Government Act.
An interim administrator will be appointed for three months before a longer-term board of administrators is found.
It is the fourth council to be sacked by the Andrews Government since 2019 after Whittlesea, South Gippsland Shire and Casey councils were sacked.
Moira Shire Council and Mayor Peter Lawless have been asked to comment.
A new council is expected to be elected by 2028, with the region until then run by a panel of administrators (pictured: Moira region of north Victoria).
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/celebrity/moira-shire-council-dismissed-after-rick-devlin-murdered-by-worker-andrew-paterson/ Moira Shire Council sacked after Rick Devlin was murdered by laborer Andrew Paterson