STIRLING councillors have decided to impose a set of harsh penalties on Councillor Elizabeth Re after she was accused of bullying staff.
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 the WorkSafe improvement notice referred to Cr Re.
Mayor Giovanni Italiano moved the motion to exclude Cr Re from all City functions, attending forums and even cancelling her electronic security pass to enter the council building.
Cr Italiano said the City could face a fine of up to $500,000 if it did not comply with the WorkSafe notice.
“This is no trivial matter, it is serious and as such council have acted accordingly on this,” he said.
“With the severity of penalties that could be imposed for non-compliance, council have had no option but to act on this notice.”
Cr Re denied the bullying allegations to the Stirling Times last week.
“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.
“(The WorkSafe notice) doesn’t say who it is, we didn’t know anything about it until he last minute and (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.”
Councillors moved the motions behind closed doors last night with Cr Re and Cr Terry Tyzack absent from the meeting.
Stirling chief executive Stuart Jardine will notify the Local Government Minister of council’s decision.
Council will also withdraw all council privileges other than those prescribed by law from Cr Re.
Cr Re said she had not yet heard from the City about the penalties and she felt bullied by the actions of council.
“Excluding me from my role as a councillor is a form of bullying in itself,” she said.