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Supreme Court orders witness be examined under oath

A Supreme Court judgment regarding Tarwin Lower resident John Zakula has been delivered today.

Justice Keogh found in favour of the plaintiff, Chief Municipal Inspector David Wolf, and made orders that Mr Zakula comply by 16 April 2019 with the original notices served on him by the Local Government Inspectorate, which included the requirement that he appear and answer questions related to a current investigation.

The notices were served as part of an investigation into the improper use of information from South Gippsland Shire Council. Mr Zakula refused to comply with the notices in March 2018 and the matter was heard in the Supreme Court in September 2018, with the judgment handed down today. Mr Zakula was also ordered to pay legal costs.

Chief Municipal Inspector David Wolf said: “The finding and orders of the court allow this serious investigation to proceed to its conclusion. The Inspectorate will inform the community of the outcomes of the investigation in the interests of transparency.”

As the investigation is still ongoing, no further comment can be made at this time.

Media outlets with enquiries can contact:

Steve Pogonowski, Senior Communications Adviser

media.comms@lgici.vic.gov.au or 0437 541 972

Background

A person may be required to appear for a formal examination before the Chief Municipal Inspector or his delegate under oath to answer questions, as set out in the Local Government Act section 223B(2)(c). The Supreme Court decision on 3 April 2019 was made in accordance with section 223C(3)(a).