Council’s legal costs hit $883k

JULIE EISENBISE: The South Gippsland Shire Council administrator was in no mood for time wasters at last week’s council meeting.

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council will spend $883,000 on legal fees during the 2019-2020 financial year.

A large slice goes to the family company of former councillor Jeremy Rich, who quit council after a raid saw him facing drugs and weapons charges.

According to a statement from council, $345,000 was paid out “in relation to the Ansevata water claim”, including a $226,000 settlement in the long running saga.

Another $155,000 was spent in relation to the Bald Hills Wind Farm nuisance complaint, with council defending its finding that there was no effect on residents from noise produced by the turbines.

Independent State Government experts would eventually overturn the decision.

The complaint landed another former councillor, Andrew McEwen, in hot water, after he leaked an email from then CEO Tim Tamlin to one of the complainants, John Zakula, who had taken the council to court over the matter.

Another $60,000 was spent by former councillors, who employed a Melbourne lawyer to pen a letter in their defence against claims by the State Government that they were responsible for poor governance.

The rest of the $883,000-$360,000 – comes for future expected costs.

“Legal expenses are generally incurred for things such as property transactions, planning, contractual and personnel matters and other day to day operations of the business,” the spokesperson said.


Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=30270

Posted by on Oct 29 2019. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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