Gianpiero Battista, Isaac Smith and Greg Bennett have all quit Lismore City Council before the elections in September.
Gianpiero Battista, Isaac Smith and Greg Bennett have all quit Lismore City Council before the elections in September.

Call in the administrator, council's in a terminal condition

Lismore City Council has lurched from bad to worse and it is time for the Local Government Minister to step in an appoint an administrator.

The culture of the organisation is in serious chaos after the council's general manager, Shelley Oldham, was sacked on Tuesday night.

In total, three councillors - including the mayor - and now the general manager have left the Titanic, in the past six or seven months.

While the remaining councillors bravely play on and tell the general public to remain calm, this council is in serious crisis.

We can't afford to wait until the results of the next election in September to sort this out.

The NSW Government needs to step in NOW.

It's too important to have the local government of the most important service city on the Northern Rivers in such tatters.

The reports we are publishing on this matter only tell half the story and don't reflect what journalists are being told "off the record"

Not mentioning any names or specifics, there have been claims and counter claims of bullying and harassment.

 

Shelley Oldham, with Lismore mayor Isaac Smith. Both have now left.
Shelley Oldham, with Lismore mayor Isaac Smith. Both have now left.

 

Shelley Oldham was brought in to fix a $6 million dollar black hole and in the process she seems to have got a lot of noses out of joint.

I'm sure Ms Oldham's pay out figure is going to punch a big hole in the budget and last year's annual report put her salary at well over $300,000.

Fire, flood, drought, COVID-19, crippling debt, claims of a lack of confidence in the council's leadership and the long period between elections has seen three councillors move on during this period.

Isaac Smith's time as Lismore mayor officially ended recently.

Greg Bennett and Gianpiero Battista both stepped down in August of last year.

Lismore is too big a council to let drift along for the next few month until voters get their chance to have a say in September.

There's some big decisions that need to be made, North Lismore plateau, potential sale of the white elephant Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre and a new dam at Dunoon.

There's just too much at stake NOT to act now.



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