Statement from the CEO of the Committee for Geelong, Jennifer Cromarty

“The Committee for Geelong was disappointed with comments at the recent City of Greater Geelong Council meeting by some Councillors.  In our opinion, the comments did not reflect good governance.

“Councillors often require support, advice and action from Council officers and have a right to respectfully articulate their views. The Council staff also deserve a respectful work environment and should be afforded the opportunity to provide ‘frank and fearless’ advice based on their professional expertise.

“As an organisation that is independent of government, the Committee for Geelong has a history of delivering community leadership programs and being a voice to the political realm when others are unable. Leadership and representation is vital in our community so voices can be heard by key decision makers. But this leadership must occur within a culture underpinned by good values, behaviours and utmost respect.

“Recently the Committee for Geelong made a submission to the City of Greater Geelong’s ‘Our Community Plan’ consultation.  Part of the submission included a question about how certain priorities could improve the Geelong community. The Committee for Geelong wrote that we want to see Council “work authentically with community and all levels of government to take action” and that “the Geelong community will benefit through greater respect, transparency and social connectedness.”  Through the pandemic we’ve seen historic collaborations and a focus on the health and wellbeing of the community taking precedence over politics. We ask that Councillors work respectfully with officers and be the exemplar of good governance.”