City of Palmerston Council dismissed

The Northern Territory Government has dismissed City of Palmerston Council, following an investigation which identified shortcomings including poor financial processes, non-compliance with legislation and council policies, poor community consultation and internal conflict.

The investigation report found:

  • Palmerston Council signed a $13.5 million dollar contract to develop a multistorey carpark without the funds to pay for it and with no ‘subject to finance’ clause. The investigation found that this development was also without proper planning, risk assessment or community consultation.

  • The absence of Aldermen and the Chief Executive Officer from crucial council meetings.

  • The reclassifying of a number of staff positions, without an independent evaluation of roles and responsibilities and without being advertised.

The Minister for Housing and Community Development Gerry McCarthy said all Alderman were given the right of reply to the report and it was clear, through those responses, that individuals had different perspectives on events.

“However, under the Local Government Act, all elected members share a collective responsibility for overseeing the actions and operation of council.

“As a whole, they must make informed and responsible decisions in the best interest of their constituency. Therefore, I have acted on the investigators recommendation to dismiss the City of Palmerston Council.

Elections for the new City of Palmerston Council will be held on 17 March 2018.

City of Palmerston Council Investigator’s Report is available here