Glenorchy City Council in purgatory for six more months

Peter Gutwein
Peter Gutwein

Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein has announced the Glenorchy City Council will be suspended for a further six months, pending a board of inquiry report into its conduct.

The entire council was suspended for six months in February after almost three years of in-fighting following the 2014 local government election.

Elected members had also gone to war with senior staff, and a rift developed between Mayor Kristie Johnston and council general manager Peter Brooks.

Former Legislative Council president Sue Smith was appointed commissioner of the council to make sure it ran in the absence of elected members.

A board of inquiry was established to investigate problems within the council which led to a court case launched against them by Alderman Jenny Branch-Allen.

She has since withdrawn the legal action.

Mr Brooks in June launched his own action against the board of inquiry and members Barry Easther and Lynn Mason.

About $830,000 has been spent on the board of inquiry investigation so far.

Mr Gutwein had recently asked the mayor and aldermen to write to him to outline reasons why they should keep their jobs.

At a press conference on Tuesday morning, he said he was not swayed by any of those submissions.

Mr Gutwein said he would await the findings of the board of inquiry’s investigation over the next six months before making a final decision.

The suspension means that the alderman will go without a full year’s wage.

Ms Johnston usually receives $98,462 a year, Deputy Mayor Harry Quick receives $47,681, and aldermen receive $28,133.