Former councillors have urged Wagga’s current elected representatives to expedite the release of the external report into the failed $2.5 million loan to aviation company Douglas Aerospace.
The loan was approved in the final year of the previous council and one councillor told the Advertiser it appeared significant swathes of information had been withheld prior to the vote to approve the loan in January 2012.
“It looks like information was withheld concerning the company’s viability and if I had have had that information, then I think a lot of councillors wouldn’t have voted for it, including myself,” former councillor Clint Uden said.
The Advertiser has been told a key report from Kingsway Financial Assessments, which cast doubt on Douglas’ ability to service its loan, was not provided to councillors considering the deal.
With the benefit of hindsight, Mr Uden said the loan was a “major mistake” on the part of council and demanded the report be made public “in the interests of good governance and transparency”.
The Douglas Aerospace saga took a twist last week when Phil Pinyon suddenly resigned on Thursday, having previously been stood aside from his role by councillors immediately after a meeting concerning the external auditors report into the loan three days prior.
Ray Goodlass, who was deputy mayor at the time the loan was approved, admitted Mr Pinyon’s departure had come as a surprise.
“I’m still asking myself why Phil felt he had to resign if, as has been stated, there was nothing in the report to suggest that he should,” he said.
Mr Goodlass has also urged the release of the report, so long as there are no legal issues surrounding it.
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