A Eurobodalla activist group has lodged a 65-page complaint against the Eurobodalla Shire Council – and ratepayers will foot the bill for an investigation, despite the Office of Local Government declining to investigate.
Stop Arms Fairs in Eurobodalla Inc. (SAFE) says the council has breached legal and governance obligations in the process of granting a license to the annual HuntFest event at the council-owned NATA oval in Narooma.
“I would emphasise that this complaint is not just some collection of unsubstantiated assertions. The allegations are thoroughly argued and extensively documented and must be properly examined by an impartial and credible investigator,” SAFE president Heather Irwin said.
Mayor Liz Innes said she was “frustrated”.
“SAFE has advised in its correspondence that the OLG will not be investigating their current complaint,” she said.
“Despite the OLG’s decision, SAFE has submitted the complaint to me and as per the council’s Code of Conduct, the matter has once again been referred to an independent external conduct reviewer and the review is underway.
“It is a source of frustration to me that this matter has been thoroughly examined by independent investigators multiple times, but once again we’re seeing ratepayer funds used to investigate the granting of a standard event licence.”
However, SAFE says the process is necessary.
“Regardless of the attitude of any individual community member to such matters as this council's controversial decision to approve gun sales in a publicly owned facility, every community member needs to be concerned about whether or not our council officials are consistently behaving honestly, transparently and within the law when undertaking their official duties on behalf of this community,” Ms Irwin said.