Local Government Minister Paul Toole has ordered an immediate investigation into Wagga City Council following a week of turmoil that culminated in the departure of general manager Phil Pinyon.
Council will be investigated by the Office of Local Government over Mr Pinyon’s departure, which came after he was stood down by councillors at the start of last week, as pressure intensifies on the city’s elected body to release an external auditor’s report into the failed Douglas Aerospace Loan.
“The Minister is concerned about Wagga City Council’s circumstances and has requested the Office of Local Government immediately review the matter,” a spokeswoman for Mr Toole said.
Councillors spent three hours considering the external auditor’s report before unanimously voting to stand Mr Pinyon aside from his job.
Mayor Rod Kendall said he was unaware of the looming investigation when contacted by the Advertiser on Monday.
“I look forward to the contact from the Office of Local Government,” he said.
Responding to increasing pressure to make the report’s contents public, Cr Kendall said “in an ideal world” he would like to see it released sometime next month, though he stressed that decision also lay with his fellow councillors.
However, it remains unlikely the report will be released in full, with any sections containing legal or commercial concerns likely to remain under wraps.
“It’s not my intention to keep anything from the public that hasn’t got some sort of commercial or legal privilege attached to it,” Cr Kendall said.
The report will have to be considered at a council meeting before its release can be approved.
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