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Smelly Complaint Costs $3000

An internal disagreement over whether a Sunbury Road rubbish dump was being monitored daily or not has cost Hume ratepayers at least $3,000.

Councillor Trevor Dance disputed Councillor Jack Medcraft’s assertion the tip at 500 Sunbury Road was being checked daily by the Environment Protection Agency.

Further, Cr Dance alleged Cr Medcraft’s assertion had breached the Code of Conduct by deliberately misleading Council and public.

Cr Dance also expressed fears for his safety if the arbitration was held in person, so Arbiter Helen Buckingham hired the Hume Global Learning centre for the two hearings on the issue.

Despite this, Cr Dance didn’t appear in person and sent information via email instead.

In her 10 page funding, tabled to the Council on 12 July 2021, Arbiter Helen Buckingham dismissed the Application.

She said emails from Cr Medcraft showed that Australian Recycling Corporation had a hygienist monitoring the site every day and reports were being sent to the EPA so there was no intention to deliberately mislead Council or the public and no breach of the Code of Conduct.

In her report to Council, Arbiter Buckingham also noted the seriousness of the internal arbitration process and her concern that the Applicant had failed her directives to attend in person, particularly since a venue had been hired, to provide a safe and respectful environment for the proceedings.

The total cost of the arbitration will be known to ratepayers when the account for the venue hire is received by Council.

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