Wyndham council has used $4000 of ratepayers’ money to investigate how a report about the naming of Eagle stadium was leaked to the media.
As reported by Star Weekly, the report revealed Eagle Stadium was not among top names chosen by residents for the redeveloped Werribee Sports and Fitness Centre.
The confidential report found Ironbark was a clear favourite among the community, while Mondo, Hive and Barracker were also popular choices. The council insists the report was compiled before the name Eagle Stadium was considered.
It has faced a backlash over its decision, with many sports groups saying they were not consulted about the controversial new name.
Council chief executive Kerry Thompson said the source of the leak was being investigated because it was a serious breach of the Local Government Act. She said the council had hired an outside body to conduct the investigation, which is looking at council staff and councillors.
“Wyndham city has sought external assistance to conduct an investigation into the alleged leak of confidential documents. Given the need for impartiality, and also the resources required to properly conduct an investigation, it was deemed appropriate to utilise an independent agency,” Ms Thompson said.
The investigation follows the council’s decision to reject a freedom of information request for documents used in the naming, as not being in the public interest.
The council’s freedom of information officer, Joy Painter, knocked back the request because it showed the names that had been considered but not adopted by the council.
Werribee South resident Joe Garra said the public deserved to know what other names were considered and why Eagle Stadium was chosen. However, Hoppers Crossing resident Dee Harvey defended the decision, saying the name was “perfect” for the redeveloped centre.