Published by Cobram Courier online on April 17.

This article also appeared in print on April 16.


Two Moira Shire Council sources have hit back at claims bullying and mistreatment allegations within the organisation are not linked to councillors.

This comes after the Courier published a story last week which quoted Moira Shire Mayor Peter Mansfield saying proposed Victorian Government reforms — which would increase mayoral and government power to rein in misbehaving councillors — would not have an impact on the current situation at Moira Shire because ‘‘councillors are not engaging’’ in bullying behaviour.

The council sources, who wish to remain anonymous, contacted the Courier last week and said multiple councillors were directly involved in troubles at the embattled council.

A Local Government Inspectorate spokesman on Friday confirmed three complaints against councillors were being assessed.

However, the first council source said they knew of as many as seven complaints lodged against one councillor.

The second source said the organisation’s problems ‘‘stemmed from councillors’’ and said Cr Mansfield was ‘‘totally incorrect’’ in absolving councillors of involvement.

The second source also said they had spoken to the Local Government Department more than 10 times in the past six months.

Cr Mansfield declined to comment on the issue.

Meanwhile, Moira Shire acting chief executive Peter Bertolus has clashed with Australian Services Union lead organiser Billy King over a separate case.

Mr King last week claimed council and the union reached a resolution in the matter against a council staff member.

However, Mr Bertolus said the matter, which was related to ‘‘the (internal) transfer of a staff member’’, was not settled.

Mr King said the matter was resolved ‘‘to what we were seeking’’, but Mr Bertolus said the union made additional claims which council did not agree to.

Moira Shire Council will today front a Fair Work Commission panel to defend a separate complaint lodged by Australian Services Union.

AuthorToni Brient