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05 August 2022
Horsham councillor Di Bell has resigned.
Mrs Bell has tendered her resignation effective immediately, she said in a statement posted to social media late Friday.
She cited a June 27 meeting as the ‘final straw’.
Fellow councillors had called for a Local Government inspectorate investigation into whether Mrs Bell had failed to disclose her conflict of interest in the Australian Services Union-related urgent business considered during a confidential section of the council’s May meeting; and alleged that Cr Bell’s recent conduct in relation to the allegations made by the Australian Services Union amounted to a ‘misuse of position, contrary to section 123 of the Local Government Act 2020’.
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Sometime (sic) in life we commit to something wholeheartedly then we find there is a part to it that just doesn't line up with our values.
This is where I have found myself,” she wrote on social media.
“There has been a lot behind the scenes over the last 21 months, which was totally unexpected on a personal front, and now that it has affected my family as well, I'm done.”
Cr Bell was elected to council in 2020.
Chief Executive Officer Sunil Bhalla thanked Cr Bell for her service to the community.
“It is with regret that I accepted Cr Bell’s resignation,” Mr Bhalla said.
“The health and safety of our staff and councillors is paramount.
“We are committed to ensuring Horsham Rural City Council’s values of respect, integrity and accountability are embedded across all levels of Council and we will continue working with the monitor appointed to the council in recent weeks,” he said.
Council will now work with the Victorian Electoral Commission to determine the next steps for filling the vacancy.
More to come.