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Our Board has a proud history of working productively with the Bellingen Shire Council over many years. However, we have been concerned about the recent consultation process around the allocation of the $1.2 million bushfire recover funds – in particular, flaws in transparency and community consultation that do not bode well for the administration of future funding. The Board highlighted those concerns with our members and the broader community, and has actively looked for ways to improve future consultations. The Board as a whole was strongly behind those actions, and feedback from the wider membership tells us that our members are supportive of our stance. However, some members of the Board have ties, direct or indirect, with the Council, and have therefore felt the need to resign from the Board in light of the current situation. This means that we now have only six Directors – one less than the minimum number (seven) required by our Constitution.
Both Business NSW and the Department of Fair Trading have advised that we can fill casual vacancies on the Board in accordance with the constitution, without the need for an extraordinary general meeting, and that we can continue to function in the meantime, so long as we are actively seeking to fill vacancies. This means that there will be no interruption to the services that we provide to members.
The Board has therefore determined to fill casual board vacancies in the short term and to bring forward our Annual General Meeting (normally held in October or November), to enable our members to elect the board for the coming 12 months. We will hold the AGM some time in the five months following the end of the financial year.
Please look out for a separate formal notification about the process for filling the vacancies.