Shoalhaven City Council is dyfunctional and incapable of working for the betterment of the community.
This is the harsh assessment of Kiama MP Gareth Ward, who has written to his parliamentary colleague and close friend Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock, urging her to bring foward the election for the local government area.
Originally scheduled for September this year, local government elections in NSW have been deferred for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It is my strong view that the elected Local Council in the City of Shoalhaven is dysfunctional and cannot work for the betterment of our region," Mr Ward, a former Shoalhaven councillor, wrote.
"The relationship between Councillors, particularly at Council meetings is toxic with lengthy debates often not focused on issues within the remit of local government."
Mr Ward's stinging attack comes in the same week he savaged the council for not progressing funding applications for the East Nowra Sub Arterial Road that would alleviate a growing congestion problem through the town.
"Council has failed to properly apply for millions of dollars that have been set aside specifically for Shoalhaven residents with the Regional Growth Fund being a prime example," he wrote.
Mr Ward said Shellharbour City Council, which had been included in the program much later than Shoalhaven, had worked closely with him to progress public works funding.
The Kiama MP asked Mrs Hancock to write to the Electoral Commissioner to seek urgent advice about the earliest possible date an election could be held for Shoalhaven.