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Geelong Advertiser Opinion Piece - CoGG Administrators

The Victorian State Government's appointment of Administrators to manage the Greater Geelong City Council fifteen months ago has been an important and positive move for many in Geelong's business community. The Administrators have delivered the critical leadership stability businesses need to plan for the future and grow.

At the time of their dismissal, the previous Council was described by an independent Commission of Inquiry as being so dysfunctional that it was "unable to provide the longer term vision, leadership and good government required" to properly govern Victoria's second city.

A four-year term of administration was suggested, with the Geelong community to be given the opportunity to vote for a new Council in 2020.  This was consistent with previous Council dismissals in Victoria - the City of Wangaratta was in administration for three years after it was sacked in 2013.  However, after just 15 months, elections in Geelong will now be conducted in October.

The Committee for Geelong considers that the Council's Administrators have not been allowed sufficient time to implement the important and necessary changes recommended by the independent Commission of Inquiry, whilst also managing the day-to-day operations of the Council.

Although the Administrators have made significant progress in responding to the recommendations, their 12-month report to the Government makes it clear that there is significantly more work to be done.  For example, it is clear that there is not enough time before the election to further develop and fully embed theClever and Creativefuture vision for our city-region. 

However, the decision has been made to go ahead with October's election. 

Once the final vote has been counted, and the successful candidates have been declared, the focus will turn to the new Council to continue and complete the Administrators' work.  It will be incumbent on the new Council to deliver the Clever and Creative vision for our city-region, capitalising on the comprehensive consultation with the Geelong community. 

The Committee for Geelong will work collaboratively with the Council to ensure Geelong takes advantage of the solid foundations that have now been established by the Administrators.  We will also expect the new Council to govern with the highest levels of accountability and professionalism, so that past divisions and dysfunction can be consigned to history.

Geelong needs proficient and effective leadership from its Council.  October's election presents a unique opportunity for everyone - the Council, the Victorian State Government, the Committee for Geelong, other organisations, business owners and operators, and our community - to come together to ensure that our city-region has a strong and positive future.



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