Stirling councillor accused of bullying labels Worksafe investigation “witch hunt”

City of Stirling councillor Elizabeth Re.
City of Stirling councillor Elizabeth Re.

A CITY of Stirling councillor being investigated for bullying staff has called a WorkSafe review a “witch hunt.”

A WorkSafe improvement notice issued on April 12 was provided to the Stirling Times and revealed employees were exposed to behaviours such as yelling, aggressive language and gestures, swearing, as well as inappropriate and excessive emails from a councillor.

The City’s lawyer, Neil Douglas from McLeods Lawyers, confirmed today the WorkSafe improvement notice referred to Councillor Elizabeth Re.

Cr Re said she denied the bullying allegations.

“I think it is a witch hunt against me, because I’ll stand up and support the people because I believe in the people,” she said.

“It (the WorkSafe notice) doesn’t say who it is, we didn’t know anything about it until he last minute and they (City of Stirling) have had it for over a month.

“I haven’t bullied anyone; it is making me feel intimidated going to a meeting there.”

Cr Re said the culture at the City of Stirling was “getting very sad.”

“Staff are quite upset and lots have left,” she said.

“I haven’t done any bullying behaviour whatsoever.

“I have chosen not to go to councillor committee meetings, I have chosen not to park in the basement so I don’t get attacked because I’m worried about my personal safety.”

It is understood councillors and the City’s lawyer were called to an emergency meeting on May 16 to discuss the implications on the council.

Next week, Mayor Giovanni Italiano will put forward a confidential notice of motion before council about the improvement notice.

Cr Italiano said council would decide whether they would discuss the item publicly or behind closed doors at the meeting.

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