Whittlesea councillor calls for the entire council to be sacked after ousting of CEO Simon Overland
Image (left): @CrTomJoseph
A Whittlesea councillor is calling for the entire council to be sacked in the wake of the ousting of council CEO and former police chief Simon Overland.
Mr Overland was sacked from his role at City of Whittlesea chief executive during a closed council meeting last night after two years in the role.
His departure comes just three weeks after he took indefinite leave, just after new mayor Emilia Lisa Sterjova took power, citing health and safety concerns because of internal council changes.
The state government has appointed a monitor to oversea the City of Whittlesea council.
3AW state political reporter James Talia said it could be the end for the current council.
“The appointment of a monitor is generally seen as the first step towards sacking a council,” he told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.
“That monitor will look at whether or not the council is doing what it’s elected to do, how well they’re working or not working together, and then presumably make recommendations about what the future of the council should be.”
When appointing a monitor, local government minister Adem Somyurek noted it is unusual for someone to be sacked while on sick leave, so that matter will also be examined.
Councillor Tom Joseph, who opposed Mr Overland’s unseating, says he hopes the whole council is sacked.
“This municipality, for many years, had a culture of councillors getting their way,” he told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.
“Simon Overland came, he fixed the matter, he actually made systems in place where people have to work within the local government act.
“Obviously that didn’t suit certain councillors.”
Cr Joseph said infighting between councillors is out of control.
“This is a game which is being played at the cost of the residents of Whittlesea and I am sick of it!,” he said.
Mr Overland, who is soon due to give evidence at the Lawyer X royal commission, has reportedly been under siege from within the council, with some councillors calling for him to step down for more than a year.
Some councillors have even suggested they may be in physical danger at council meetings if seated near Mr Overland.
It is unclear whether Mr Overland was paid out the remaining 2.5 years of his contract upon his ousting.
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