Yarra Council Reverses CEO's Power to Buy and Sell Properties Without Approval

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Yarra Council Reverses CEO's Power to Buy and Sell Properties Without Approval

Yarra Council recently found itself in the midst of a controversy after a proposal surfaced suggesting that its CEO could make property transactions amounting to $10 million without seeking council approval. This move was met with significant resistance from the community, prompting the council to reconsider its stance on the matter. The proposal faced intense scrutiny as concerns were raised about the lack of transparency and democratic processes in potentially selling off community assets without proper oversight.

The council's abrupt change of heart came shortly after the conclusion of community consultation on its five-year property plan, where overwhelming feedback highlighted the dissatisfaction with the initial proposal. In response to the public outcry, the council decided to reverse the decision, acknowledging the need for future property acquisitions and sales to be subject to council approval. The u-turn in policy was met with relief from various resident groups, such as the Yarra Residents Collective and Fitzroy Residents Association, who had been vocal in their opposition to the original proposal.

Adam Promnitz, representing the Yarra Residents Collective, expressed relief over the council's decision to retract the CEO's unilateral power to handle property transactions, but also questioned the motives behind the initial proposal. This move not only unified various community groups in Yarra against the council's decision but also raised concerns about the level of disconnect between the council's executives and the residents they serve. The absence of CEO Sue Wilkinson following the announcement and the lack of detailed response from the council only added to the uncertainty surrounding the future delegation limits and administrative processes within Yarra Council.