District Council of Mallala has moved to halt preliminary investigations and costings into building a civic centre in Two Wells following concerns the project will impact on the upcoming local government elections.
DCM chief executive officer, Charles Mansueto, said in May council resolved to allocate $100,000 towards the civic centre project but recent advice from staff indicated the decision could be in breach of the Local Government Association’s caretaker provisions, which will come into effect on September 2 as resolved recently by council, in readiness for the upcoming November elections.
The provisions state, in general, council should not progress any matter that could be considered to be an election issue.
“Our administration has recommended to council that the resolution to allocate $100,000 be rescinded,” Mr Mansueto said.
“Also, any future consultation on this matter is to be deferred until the new council is elected.”
The civic centre project has in the past divided councillors and residents alike, with some councillors swinging in favour, then against, and back to support of the spending and the project in general.
If it goes ahead, the civic centre project could see a move of council’s main office from Mallala to Two Wells some time in the future. This is expected to be a strong election issue in November. At its June 23 meeting DCM supported the staff recommendation to rescind the original resolution to allocate $100,000 towards the project.
Council also resolved to seek a suspension of the sub-committee established by its Facilities and Infrastructure Advisory Committee to pursue the investigations into the civic centre.