EDITORIAL: Council’s Breathtaking Arrogance

Filed in Just In by December 19, 2019

YESTERDAY we published a story outlining that the Upper Hunter Shire Council had broken the law when they took $380,000 worth of externally restricted funds and used it for cash flow for projects they had not yet received money for and then replaced it, all without proper permission from the Minister. Read: Council Broke Law With $380,000 Misappropriation.

Elizabeth Flaherty, editor of scone.com.au. Photo: Amanda Gaffney-Ray.

The Council then issued an open letter on their Facebook page which failed to comment on the fact that their behaviour was unlawful, instead focusing on the auditor signing off on their financials and claiming the word “misappropriation” was a “false claim”.

We wholeheartedly stand behind the use of the word “misappropriation” as defined in the Webster dictionary which is to “appropriate wrongly” which is exactly what the Council’s own financials show they did and at no stage did we claim there was “theft” of funds or any further illegal activity, if that’s what Council are now trying desperately to infer.

Stating that the auditor signed off on their financials is absolutely true and not something we disputed, but again, ignoring the fact that in Council’s own words “the Auditor General was required to notify the Minister that Council did not comply with section 409(3) of the Local Government Act 1993,” simply glosses over the fundamental issue that the auditor had to blow the whistle on Council’s illegal act with the Minister.

It is astounding that Council are arguing the toss about semantics, while willfully ignoring the fact that they broke the law…breathtakingly arrogant and out of touch.

 

Elizabeth Flaherty
Editor of Scone.com.au

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