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New call for Rosenberg to stand down as LGA president


Pressure is building on embattled Onkaparinga mayor Lorraine Rosenberg, with a major metropolitan council likely to call for her to resign as president of the Local Government Association – and a fellow mayor urging her to step aside.

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Tea Tree Gully deputy mayor Lucas Jones has given notice of a motion to be debated next week, moving that the north-eastern suburbs council “resolves to no longer support Ms Lorraine Rosenburg (sic) as President of the Local Government Association”.

The motion will seek the council’s CEO to “formally write to the LGA, informing the association that the City of Tea Tree Gully no longer support the Presidency of Ms Lorraine Rosenburg”, and to the mayor herself, requesting “that she resigns as President of the LGA effective immediately”.

Rosenberg, a longtime mayor and onetime Liberal MP, has been at the centre of a media and political storm with Onkaparinga garnering a raft of negative publicity surrounding perks for its CEO Mark Dowd, and the use of corporate credit cards for staff – a measure that has prompted an Ombudsman’s inquiry.

Jones told InDaily he was confident his motion would garner significant support.

Tea Tree Gully mayor Kevin Knight said he agreed Rosenberg should resign as LGA president, saying “I can’t resile from the fact that we’ve suffered for 12 months” over the negative publicity surrounding Onkaparinga.

The politically-charged debate around rate-capping has prompted the LGA to come in for criticism of its own, after it spent almost $200,000 on a pre-election campaign against the Liberal policy.

Adelaide City Council is also considering the merits of remaining in the LGA, with key councillors demanding the association’s leadership quit.

“I actually quite like Lorraine, but I think there should be change,” Knight told InDaily.

“It hasn’t worked for us… I just think sadly the message the LGA is putting out is being lost now,” he said.

“It’s really sad, but it’s the reality… I think we’ve got to stay with the LGA, but I think we need to send a message that we’ve had enough.

“I’d like to think if I was on there, I might have stepped down.”

Jones said in a further statement that he and others had “sat by while hearing stories of ratepayer money being misused and abused [in] ways that would certainly fail the ‘pub test’ at the very least”.

He said Rosenberg’s role at the LGA “comes with immense responsibility and currently I do not believe she has the ability to execute her role whilst she is facing such difficulty within her own council”.

“At such an important time, when local government is facing numerous challenges including the ongoing debate around rate-capping, we need someone to lead the LGA who is not embroiled in such difficulties, and someone who has the ability to deliver key messages on behalf of local government without having to consistently be questioned about issues with their own council,” he said.

Rosenberg, who is facing a vote of no confidence from her own council at tonight’s meeting, declined to comment.

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