"Tainted - without any evidence"

FEDERAL  member for Lyne, David Gillespie said respondents to his "Manning Valley Better Roads Survey" had complained about "possible corruption" within Greater Taree City Council.

"Mud sticks," Cr David West said at council's special meeting on Wednesday night.

"(Council) staff members are being tainted, without any evidence being produced."

Several of council's staff attended Wednesday's meeting and Cr West asked them to stand and be identified. "These people live here, they work here, they have children attending schools."

Cr David Keegan voiced frustration that Dr Gillespie has not come to council to see how the council was addressing the issues he raised.

He said Dr Gillespie alludes to misuse of council funds.

Cr Keegan said he sought election to council in 2008 because he was concerned about council's governance and since then, GTCC has been through a very thorough forensic examination of its practices.

"We volunteered for this forensic examination - Dr Gillespie suggests we were singled out.

"We are one of the few councils who went out and surveyed our roads, conducted core drill samples. Council has developed a matrix that is objective, not subjective, that looks at the value of roads."

Dr Gillespie called council to task on the failed section of Old Bar Road. Cr Keegan pointed out that this was one example of where council was working better, and that the contractor was being called back to repair the section to standard at no cost to council.

"(Dr Gillespie) then suggests the Greater Taree Roads and Bridges Package was an 'unfunded election promise'. And instead of saying 'I was wrong', he attacks council.

"We have spent a lot of time surveying our roads. Our SRV (special rate variation) is only to be spent on roads and infrastructure. Council has greatly increased the amount of money spent on infrastructure," Cr Keegan said.

"We don't have enough money, we are a safe electorate and the only time we got the money we deserved was when we had the previous member."


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