Doubts cast over Sunbury report

SEVERAL Hume residents have sought meetings with Local Government Minister Jeanette Powell about Sunbury’s possible secession from Hume.
Nanjing Night Net

Sunbury Residents Association president Bernie O’Farrell is among those who have also written to Northern Victoria MP Donna Petrovich about a report on services and infrastructure provided to Sunbury by Hume Council.

Mr O’Farrell said he had concerns over the report by accounting firm KPMG, which found the town gets a similar or higher share of funding than the rest of the municipality.

“I am deeply concerned that the report states the findings rely heavily on data provided by Hume Council and that such data was not audited or otherwise verified,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“I believe that this statement, therefore, places strong doubts on the validity and creditability of the findings in the report. The minister has made no attempt to get viewpoints from residents on ‘Sunbury out of Hume’.

“We have gone through Donna and have never been able to get a committed response. We also want to meet with her to air our concerns.”

Sunbury residents Trevor Dance and John McKerrow, both very critical of the report, have also written to the minister seeking a meeting.

Mr McKerrow, who worked at the former Shire of Bulla as an engineer and town planner for 34 years, says the report looks only at what is in the town, not who supplied it.

“The report left out the history of Sunbury and when those buildings were built — most while it was in the Shire of Bulla.”

He said the report also had errors on road and transport infrastructure.

Mr McKerrow said the report had similar failings to an earlier report that said ‘Sunbury out of Hume’ wouldn’t work.

A spokesman for Ms Powell, Greg Charter, said the minister had received several pieces of correspondence about the report. The minister is waiting for a second KPMG report due for completion at the end of June.

Ms Petrovich said residents just wanted to know when there would be a vote on the issue.

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