Hub group calls for general manager to step down

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VOCAL Stop the Hub Community Group has called for the resignation of the Shellharbour City Council general manager.

GM Michael Willis was today accused by the group of “having failed” to deal with “urgent issues” and resolve council’s ongoing financial losses.

Diane Quinlin from the group said the GM had not resolved losses for the Link Shell Cove or the $45 million backlog of infrastructure.

Mayor Marianne Saliba blasted the Stop the Hub group for “personally attacking” a council staff member and said she was surprised by the group’s “poor behaviour”.

She said Mr Willis had the full support of the council.

Last month, the mayor publicly invited the group for a consultation to address their concerns on the City Hub project. This was prompted by an announcement by Shellharbour MP Anna Watson that the two meet.

It is understood the group declined to meet with council.

A press release from Stop the Hub Group today called on the GM to quit, stating the recent rains had seen the region “return to third world conditions”.

“He has failed to recover the insurance funds due as a result of the City Stadium problems resulting in a $1 million cost to the ratepayers.”

“He has failed to properly resource our local libraries and now announces closures. He has again failed to deliver planned funding towards the Shellharbour Village Streetscape Project.

“He has failed to deliver a budget surplus in the last three years.

“He has brought The Hub Project onto the agenda without consultation of the ratepayers.”

The mayor said the GM had the full support of council in his role and all the work he had done up until this time.

“In the time we have been elected, the GM’s priority has been on our economic viability into the future and asset renewal,” she said.

“In regard to the Links, the GM has looked at all options and the matter doesn’t lie with the GM, because we as a council had resolved to maintain that facility.

“We don’t expect him necessarily to produce a surplus budget, what we expect from him is to do as much as he can with the amount of money we have.”

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