Central Coast Council - A disaster that had to happen
The die was cast when Minister for Local Government, Shelley Hancock was forced to pay workers wages and payments to suppliers amounting to $6.2 million. That was on the 21st October.
At the time the Minister said, "given Council's abject failure to address the consequences of its own financial mismanagement, the Government has no alternative but to arrange for funds to be paid to meet these urgent expenses.
"It's hard to think of a more fundamental failing of a Council than to pay its own staff," Mrs Hancock said.
Subsequently on the same day the Minister issued Central Coast Council with a notice of intention to suspend it and appoint an interim administrator.
It was an eventful day the 21st. Mayor Matthews issued a Media Release publicly announcing that she had lost confidence in the CEO in the wake of revelations about long term, structural problems with the Council's finances.
At no point did the Mayor accept any responsibility for a situation which had been deteriorating since they were elected three years ago.
Since being elected in September 2017 Central Coast Council has seen a parade of senior staff pass through its doors.
Four Chief Financial Officers walked out and no one asked why.
A hurriedly put together 100-Day Action Plan adopted by Council on the 19th October includes daily monitoring of cash flow, the appointment of a new Chief Financial Officer, who will take up duties sometime in November, and the formation of a Finance Committee. In addition, $40.5 million has been knocked off the capital works programme for 2020-21.