Snedden Smeared Council avoids accountability and responsibility in providing free booze to Councillors

Melbourne City Council have indicated that Cr Snedden is under notice following recent events of unacceptable social behavior and drunkenness whilst performing duties as a Councillor Councillor – The Age March 10 – Snedden on Notice

No accountability and no responsibility.

WHOEVER The Council continues to deny and avoid accountability and responsibility for the provision of supplying Councillors and senior Staff Free booze.

We have written to to the Council on many occasions seeking publication of details of internal catering costs including the costs associated with the free supply of alcohol but the Council continue to go to extra-ordinary efforts to avoid disclosure of the full costs estimated to be over one million dollars a year.

There is no justification or need for the Council to provide free alcoholic drinks funded by ratepayers for Councillors and senior administration and it is about time Council put a stop to this activity.

– Extract from the Age newspaper March 10. –

MELBOURNE city councillor Fiona Snedden could be stripped of her role as a committee chair if she repeats this week’s drunken behaviour at the Town Hall.

But she is unlikely to be ousted as a councillor, as local government legislation does not refer to alcohol or drug use.

Cr Snedden, daughter of former federal Liberal Party leader Sir Billy Snedden, is under pressure after Tuesday’s business committee meeting, which she attempted to chair when drunk. She has since apologised and said her conduct was out of character.

Municipal Association of Victoria president Geoff Lake said yesterday that councillor conduct codes and the Local Government Act should not have to deal with alcohol use among councillors.

“It is a no-brainer. It is common sense that you should not be intoxicated when you are performing official duties,” Cr Lake said. “This is the only time I can recall … where (a councillor’s) public duties have been impeded because of intoxication.”

He said Cr Snedden’s apology and the community’s response proved it was unacceptable behaviour.

The Age believes other Melbourne councillors will raise the issue with Cr Snedden when they meet before Tuesday’s full council meeting. They will not push for her to resign at this stage. But one councillor told The Age yesterday that she would be removed as a committee chair if there was a repeat performance.

Other media reported yesterday that Cr Snedden was suffering from depression and taking medication. But she refused to discuss the issue further when contacted by The Age yesterday.

Collins Street precinct association president Don Parsons yesterday sent a letter of complaint to the council about Cr Snedden’s behaviour. Privately, some councillors expressed disbelief over Cr Snedden’s comments that the incident was a one-off.

Cr Snedden next month will face the Melbourne Magistrates Court for refusing a breath test. If found guilty, she could lose her driving licence for two years.

The Local Government Act says a councillor can only be disqualified for reasons including bankruptcy, being of unsound mind, having certain serious criminal convictions, or if they are otherwise incapable of becoming or continuing to be a councillor under the act.

In 15 months as a councillor, Cr Snedden has incurred $23,400 in expenses, more than any other councillor except the Lord Mayor ($28,000) and Deputy Lord Mayor ($42,400).

Her claims included $1200 for conferences and functions, $9180 for overseas travel and $6800 for child care. Cr Carl Jetter claimed $18,200, Cr Catherine Ng $7900, Cr Peter Clarke $5400, Cr David Wilson $3400 and Cr Fraser Brindley $2500.