South West Coast MP Roma Britnell says the state government should investigate Warrnambool City Council's operations.
Ms Britnell will ask Local Government Minister Adem Somyurek to investigate governance procedures at the council after community concern about the use of council credit cards.
She says an independent investigation into the council's operations will help to re-build trust from residents.
She said she had met with ratepayers and had also requested and received a briefing on the matters from the council's chief executive officer Peter Schneider.
At that meeting, held on Monday, she informed Mr Schneider of her intentions to speak with the minister.
"Ratepayers rightly want reassurance the city council has appropriate governance procedures in place, to ensure the money it receives from the community through rates is used responsibly and appropriately," Ms Britnell said.
"At the moment there is a lack of trust and the relationship between the community and the council is strained and cannot continue on this path.
"At our meeting Mr Schneider reported the council already has several investigations and audits underway. But I believe the minister also has a responsibility to play a role.
"An independent investigation is the only way the relationship between the council and the community can begin to be rebuilt and I'll be asking the minister to launch such an investigation to ensure ratepayers can have confidence their money is being spent responsibly for the benefit the city."
On Monday Warrnambool Ratepayers Association president Brian Kelson called for a monitor to step in and oversee the running of the council.
Ms Britnell said she had met with Mr Kelson.
Municipal monitors can be appointed by Mr Somyurek to councils that have experienced governance issues.
The role of a monitor is to:
- observe governance processes and report back on issues
- provide advice to councils that are experiencing governance issues
- make recommendations to the Minister for further action
At the end of their appointment, the monitor provides a final report to the minister.
Across the state there are municipal monitors appointed to South Gippsland Shire Council, Frankston City Council, Greater Geelong City Council and Ararat Rural City Council.
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