Arbitration request costs ratepayers $3000

Hume City council . Photo by Damjan Janevski. 228421_03

By Oliver Lees

An application for an internal arbitration process between two Hume councillors has cost ratepayers $3000.

Councillor Trevor Dance made an application for a misconduct finding against Cr Jack Medcraft on March 20.

A report by arbiter Helen Buckingham, which was published as part of the agenda for the council’s July 12 meeting, stated that Cr Dance’s application was in relation to Cr Medcraft’s alleged breach of “prescribed standards of conduct” during a council meeting on March 9.

Ms Buckingham’s report stated that Cr Dance alleged that Cr Medcraft’s comment that the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) monitors the tip site at 500 Sunbury Road every day was false and misleading and that this amounted to a breach of four clauses within the prescribed standards of conduct.

These clauses were treatment of others; performing the role of councillor; compliance with good governance measures; and that a councillor must not discredit or mislead council or the public.

The report stated that Cr Dance provided evidence from a member of the customer service team at the EPA that the Australian Recycling Corporation (ARC) premises at 500 Sunbury Road were inspected approximately every two weeks.

Cr Medcraft provided evidence from ARC confirming that there is a hygienist that monitors the facility daily.

Ms Buckingham found that Cr Medcraft was of the opinion the tip was monitored daily and had no intention of misleading council.

She said she was satisfied there had been no breach of the prescribed standards of conduct and made no finding of misconduct against Cr Medcraft.

Ms Buckingham warned other councillors contemplating applications for an internal arbitration process to have “proper regard for the process” and “be prepared to see the process through”, after revealing that Cr Dance did not attend hearings relating to his application.

Ms Buckingham said Cr Dance cited personal safety reasons for not attending the hearings.