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Councillor Code of Conduct matter

Council, at its June meeting and in accordance with Section 168(2) of the Local Government Act 2020, tabled an independent report in relation to a Councillor Code of Conduct matter.

The report detailed the independent panel’s findings and determinations into a Councillor conduct matter, which found Councillor Melissa Ferguson guilty of serious misconduct and suspended her from her duties as a Councillor for a period of one month. 

Latrobe City Council, Chief Executive Officer Steven Piasente noted the correct process was followed in accordance with the Act and that Council will support the appropriate implementation of the outcomes.

“The Act establishes a Councillor conduct framework that provides a clear hierarchy for the management of Councillor conduct matters,” said Mr Piasente.

“The Panel has found Councillor Ferguson guilty of serious misconduct and suspended her from being a Councillor for a period of one month, effective from the day after the matter is tabled at a Council meeting. As the Council Meeting was held last night, Monday 3 June, Cr Ferguson will not perform her duties for one month as of today and will not receive a Councillor allowance.

“It is important that all Councillors uphold the standard of behaviour defined in the code of conduct. Adherence to these standards ensures that Council operates with the highest level of governance, integrity and professionalism to maintain the public's trust.”

Latrobe City Council Mayor, Cr Darren Howe, emphasised the importance of trust within the community.

“The community has put a lot of trust in us, as a Council, to lead in a thoughtful, fair, safe and transparent way, ensuring we act in the best interests of the community,” said the Mayor.

“Matters such as this are challenging for all involved, I would like to acknowledge Councillor Lund for her commitment to good governance and integrity. Her courage and dedication in speaking up ensures that we uphold the highest standards in serving our community. 

“I am confident that all Councillors will work together effectively into the future and will support Cr Lund, and Cr Ferguson on her return to the chamber. This will allow us to continue to work on behalf of all in the community, including South Ward residents, to support the transition and transformation of our City.

“I acknowledge that South Ward residents are concerned that they will lack representation, I would like to assure these residents that they will be supported during Cr Ferguson’s absence. Any issues they have can be raised by contacting any councillor, irrespective of the ward they represent. As a Council, we are here to serve all in our community. Alternatively, residents can self-report via the Snap Send Solve app or by contacting our customer service team.”

Click to view a copy of the Council Agenda.


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