MRRA meets minister

MEMBERS of Melville’s ratepayers association met with local government minister Tony Simpson this week to complain about a list of questions the council won’t answer.

At the July 19 council meeting, Melville mayor Russell Aubrey refused to answer a series of questions submitted by MRRA because no members had turned up to hear them.


Mr Aubrey also complained the 37 questions relating to vehicle usage and procurement were a waste of staff time.

MRRA head Gary Crawford wouldn’t say what was discussed at the meeting with Mr Simpson, who was similarly secretive.

“The minister had a constructive discussion with members of the MRRA, noting their concerns and ideas for improving the performance of the local government sector,” was all Mr Simpson’s media minders would say.

Former Melville councillor Effie Nicholson is also fuming after being told questions she’d submitted would also have to wait because she wouldn’t be turning up to the meeting.

Ms Nicholson says that’s pretty rich, given she’d told the council in advance she’d broken a foot but still wanted the questions answered. Ms Nicholson got initial advice she didn’t have to attend, but concedes she later learned it was up to the discretion of whoever was chairing the meeting.



An orderly correction

ANYONE who’s dealt with MRRA boss Gary Crawford would know he’s a stickler for the rules. So when the Chook ran a story saying he’d been ordered by a court to keep away from a Melville council staffer who’d applied for a misconduct restraining order (“Court orders MRRA head to back off staffer,” Herald, July 30, 2016), he was straight down to Legal Aid to prove that wasn’t the case, then backed it up by checking that advice with the Magistrate’s court. He’s right; because he made a personal undertaking not to approach the staffer before the application was heard, it doesn’t count as a court order. The Herald apologises to Mr Crawford for the error, which was made by a sub-editor.

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