The Performance Improvement Order placed upon Dubbo Regional Council has quietly ended, with the Dubbo Mayor saying it "marks the completion of the transformation of the current council".
Describing the order as a "Sword of Democles" hanging over councillors, Mayor Stephen Lawrence also hit out at Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock's handling of the process.
He claimed the PIO was "politically motivated" and there was concern she could have "misused" her powers under the order.
It was officially issued by Minister Hancock at the end of June.
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There were eight reasons listed, including that 'some of the communications to senior council staff from some councillors were unpleasant and intimidating', that there was 'evidence that some council staff were feeling bullied and harassed by some councillors', and that 'the conflict that occurred between councillors was eroding the community's confidence in council and impacted on council's reputation'.
The PIO involved the appointment of a temporary advisor - John Rayner PSM, to monitor compliance and to compile a final report.
That report has been submitted, it's unclear if its contents will be made public.
"The funny thing about the Minister's PIO is that even though we considered it unnecessary and politically motivated the supervisor John Rayner ended up being of great value to us and a highly competent advisor," Clr Lawrence said. "So a positive really came out of a negative.
"The end of the PIO really marks the completion of the transformation of the current council. The reality now is there is no teams, no division, no conflict, just eight individuals. That's a very positive thing."
The compliance report from Mr Rayner marks the end of the term of the order. It was due before the original date of the Local Government elections in September.
It is separate from the independent report by Pinnacle Integrity, which investigated the handling of code of conduct complaints.
This is separate again, to any investigation of allegations of code of conduct breaches.
"When the Minister issued the PIO, it was pretty clear that there was a real risk and perception that she had not acted in good faith.
"It was, therefore of some concern that she had this additional power that she might also misuse.
"The ending of the PIO is a relief in that sense, in that we no longer have the risk of the Minister misusing her powers against us."
Minister Hancock declined to comment.
A spokesperson for the Office of Local Government issued this statement late Friday:
"The final compliance report from Dubbo Regional Council and the final report from temporary adviser John Rayner PSM are being assessed by the Office of Local Government (OLG).
"Once that assessment is complete, OLG will provide advice and recommendations in relation to the council's compliance with the Performance Improvement Order."
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