Latest News

Former CVC mayor runs for Armidale council

Former Clarence Valley mayor Dr Ian Tiley is vying to be elected as a councillor on Armidale Regional Council.
The NSW Government appointed Dr Tiley as the administrator of the council, comprised of Armidale Dumaresq and Guyra councils, which were amalgamated in May 2016.
He will face off against 47 other candidates vying for the 11 councillor positions.
Dr Tiley, who resigned his membership of the Labor Party in 2000, has also, prior to that, been a member of the Liberal Party and the National Party.
There are six Country Labor and six Greens nominations for the election; the rest have declared as independent or have not declared an affiliation.
Dr Tiley, however, is not conducting an election campaign – electors will have to judge Dr Tiley on his time as administrator.
The NSW Office of Local Government has ruled that administrators “may stand for election”, with several stipulations: refraining from using council resources; not allow their names of images to be published in material issued by the council; make no “contentious decisions”; and, avoid officiating on behalf of the council – these conditions are applied from 40 days before the September 9 election.
Administrators can only make “prohibited decisions”, with the Minister’s approval, during the four-week caretaker mode.
Dr Tiley would not say too much due to the above restrictions, however, he said he “loves the region”; and, on whether or not he thought he would be elected, said: “I’ve made my bed and [am happy] to lie in it”.
Meanwhile, NSW Labor has issued a media release titled, Taxpayer-funded administrators should be barred from running for council.
The release alleges that “at least three administrators across the state, who were hand-picked by the Liberal National government to replace elected mayors and councillors in May 2016, are running for office, effectively using the council’s resources to back their campaigns”.
Shadow local government minister Peter Primrose said Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton should have acted to prevent this from taking place.
“How can voters expect there to be a level playing field when after nearly 18 months of government sponsored largesse, administrators can then seek to get elected,” he said in the media release.
Mr Primrose has a bill before the Legislative Council; on August 9 he said it was an “absurd and possibly illegal situation where administrators have nominated to stand for election for the very councils they have been paid to administer”.
Qualifying with “I’m not a judge and I’m not a court”, he told the Independent: “Anyone suggesting there is a level playing field between the administrators and the candidates is just nonsensical; whether it is illegal or not, in the end that will be a decision for the court to make.”
He said he’d “seen a number of legal opinions” and that the “Local Government Act is pretty clear … you can’t have statement from the Office of Local Government overrule an act of Parliament”.
Doctor of Philosophy Ian Tiley is the author of Divided We Fall: An Insider’s Perspective on Local Government Amalgamations (2012) and a research fellow at UNE, and has worked in local government for 54 years, either as an elected councillor or in administration.