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Council Shut The Door On Transparency

Tags: Tony Piccolo MP / Gawler / Light Electorate

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  • By Tony Piccolo
  • Nov 06, 2018
Council Shut The Door On Transparency

Local MP Tony Piccolo outside the Gawler Civic Centre

 

The Gawler Council have told local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo he will have to pay the Council over $7,000 if he wants his freedom of information (FOI) application processed to obtain information about the civic centre redevelopment cost blowout.

In response to Mr Piccolo’s FOI application, the Gawler Council wrote back and said the task to tell him was so huge, and involve so many documents, that he would need to pay a deposit of $7,000 to have his application considered.

Mr Piccolo said that he will not be paying the $7000, and as a ratepayer in Gawler, along with other ratepayers and residents he has a right to know how council is spending its rate revenue.

“This Council does a lot of talking about transparency, accountability and disclosure, but when it comes to the crunch they try to bury their poor decisions behind closed doors,” said Mr Piccolo.

“It appears that the Council is determined that no ratepayer or resident will ever find out how much the cost blow out is on the Civic Centre redevelopment.”

“They will thwart any attempt to have the amount disclosed to the public.

“I believe Council’s actions are quite inappropriate and are holding the community in contempt.

Mr Piccolo said that he would not pay the deposit given the recent media reports where the Council representative said the Council did not intend to release the documents.

“For the Council to ask me to pay $7000 when it has already decided it would not release the information must be some sort of sick joke.”

“The Council demand for $7,000 to tell me and the other ratepayers of Gawler, how much the redevelopment is really costing them is unbelievable.

“The Council holds itself up as the paragon of good governance, but its actions tend suggest otherwise.

Mr Piccolo said that while the knockback is a temporary set back he hasn’t given up.

“In fact, Council’s poor behaviour on transparency matters will just result in legislative changes to compel them to be more open with their ratepayers and residents.”

“Over the years councils have had their powers reduced in a number of areas where it has been determined that their actions are unreasonable.

“Regrettably this might have to happen here.”

 

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