The state government will closely examine the circumstances behind the sacking of chief executive Michael Wootten earlier this week.
Yan Yean MP Danielle Green has called on Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins to investigate whether Whittlesea council is being effectively governed, raising concerns about Mr Wooten’s dismissal in Parliament yesterday.
Her request follows concerns by one councillor that the dismissal of Mr Wootten “failed good governance”.
Councillors voted to dismiss Mr Wootten from the council’s top job following a confidential meeting on Tuesday night.
It is the second time the council has changed its chief executive in the past 11 months, with David Turnbull replaced in April last year after nine years at the helm.
A government spokesman said Local Government Minister Natalie Hutchins had asked her department to advise if the recent changes in chief executive created concerns for the good governance of the city,
“The Member for Yan Yean has raised these concerns in Parliament and the minister will ensure they are investigated,” he said.
Mayor Ricky Kirkham announced Mr Wootten’s departure from council on Wednesday, saying the council “had agreed to terminate its contract” with him.
But Star Weekly has been told the decision to part ways with Mr Wooten was not unanimous.
Cr Lawrie Cox has raised concerns about the decision, saying he felt there had not been adequate consultation among councillors.
“[The decision] failed good governance. There were maybe issues there that need investigating but we should look at whether there is a valid reason and natural justice be applied,” he said.
“It could have been handled better.”
Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Ms Green said she was shocked to learn of Mr Wootten’s dismissal and was aghast by Mr Turnbull’s sacking last April.
“It seems there is a culture of bullying and abuse of councillor power and resources,” she said.
Cr Kirkham has been contacted for comment.