Why sack Geelong council: staff tormented, axe bully unpunished

Geelong mayor Darryn Lyons threatened to sue the CEO and council of the City of Greater Geelong if bullying allegations against him were published, according to a scathing commission of inquiry report into the council’s governance, administration and culture.

The council is “substantially dysfunctional”, governance and performance is “well below standard” and there has been a “failure to provide good government to the city”, argues the report tabled on Tuesday.

Former Victorian secretary Yehudi Blacher will be installed as interim administrator before ongoing administrators can be appointed to perform the roles and functions of a council until an election is held in October 2020.

The city is “riven by conflict between councillors” as well as “between councillors and the mayor”, the review found, recommending the council be dismissed. The Victorian government is attempting to push through the parliament a bill dissolving the council as a matter of urgency.

The commission of inquiry, headed by former Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Terry Moran, was appointed in response to findings of the workplace culture review conducted last year by former federal sex discrimination commissioner Susan Halliday.

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