NSW local council faces suspension

Minister Shelley Hancock has given Wingecarribee council seven days to argue against suspension.
Minister Shelley Hancock has given Wingecarribee council seven days to argue against suspension.

A Southern Highlands local council is facing suspension following the continued escalation of conflict between councillors and senior staff.

NSW Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock on Wednesday gave Wingecarribee Shire Council seven days to explain why it should not be stood down and an interim administrator appointed.

Ms Hancock plans to suspend the council for three months following serious concerns the council could not function properly because of a worsening breakdown of relationships between councillors and senior staff.

Mediation and training provided to the council members have not resolved the conflict, she said.

Suspension would apply to the mayor and councillors of the shire - which takes in Bowral, an hour and half southwest of Sydney.

The interim administrator would perform the functions of the mayor and councillors, but council staff and daily operations would continue as normal.

Australian Associated Press