Is there more to the WCC credit card scandal? Yes.

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The Warrnambool City Council credit card scandal doesn’t stop with just one person. The WCC must now come clean on what it knows. Photo: Imagestick.

Carol Altmann – The Terrier

For weeks now, I have been asked one question about the Warrnambool City Council credit card scandal: is there more?

The answer is yes.

Yes, there is.

From the very beginning, this investigation into credit card use at the Warrnambool City Council has never been about individuals. It is not personal.

This whole investigation has been about exposing an attitude of entitlement and ways of behaving that have operated within certain sections of the council for years, particularly around the office of the executive.

It has been about again exposing a lack of accountability and transparency, coupled with doses of intimidation, that allowed this culture to develop.

So tonight I can tell you that, yes, the issue of credit card spending and the use of public money goes beyond one individual.

It goes beyond the council’s former head of tourism, Mr David McMahon, who as we know resigned as a result of this investigation.

But because of recent threats that have been made against me privately, and against members of my extended family which worries me more, I am not going to name names.

I can tell you, however, that it goes beyond one individual, because I have receipts.

I am now calling upon the Warrnambool City Council to tell ratepayers and residents the whole truth.

It cannot just keep covering up a cover up.

What ratepayers and residents deserve to know is what the council has done since this whole credit card scandal was first uncovered late last year, how much credit card spending has been scrutinised since, what has been found and what is being done about it?

Remember, this is our money – public money.

In light of the recent report by the Victorian Auditor General into fraud and corruption control, the Local Government Minister has called on all 79 councils to review their policies and procedures and report to him by September 1.

There is no more hiding behind closed doors.

We want to know the full story about the 81 credit cards that have been in circulation at the WCC.

What are the spending limits? Who holds them? Have they been used to purchase big dinners, alcohol, lunches, coffees, gift vouchers? For what reason?

I am calling upon the council to tell you what is going on and what has gone on – fully and frankly.

And if it doesn’t, then I am calling upon the good citizens of Warrnambool who may be in a position to whistleblow, to do so loudly.

In pursuing this issue, I have not had a personal axe to grind or any hidden agenda. I am simply doing what journalists do, in trying to get to the truth.

Between us, will get there and – eventually – we will have that truth.

Thankyou to everyone who has made a contribution to the Tip Jar to help keep The Terrier digging. You can be part of it by clicking below.

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11 thoughts on “Is there more to the WCC credit card scandal? Yes.”

  1. Carol, do you know why the Warrnambool Standard has not ran any stories regarding these cards. They have a couple of articles which read like the council wrote. I am sure there should be a lot more letters to the editor than the couple that have been published. Thank you keep up the great work.

    1. The council have had the standard in their pocket for years. Never a disparaging remark about wcc in there….

  2. Keep it up Carol! I hope you have notified the appropriate authorities about the threats. Jim

  3. I’m in two minds having read this – anticipation overlaid with a hint of scepticism. This is a big call. Naming individuals and providing evidence will expose this rot once and for all. Not doing so is nothing but hot air. But I guess your track-record suggests it’s not the case. Would have been good to finally know. Good luck and stay safe.

    1. Thankyou for your sentiments, but can you tell me a bit more about the hot air? I find that really hard to swallow, to be honest, when you are writing as Anonymous.

      1. I think (s)he means that it could sound a little conspiratorial without the inclusion of names. Carol the threats are an unexpected escalation. I would be more than happy for you to use me as a ghost writer/alias and let them threaten me all they like. Love what you’re doing Carol, if I can be of any help feel free to get in touch. (Edited)

        1. Hi Jarrod, thanks for the support. I have edited your comment because, from what I have learned, the pressure to back off is coming from those outside of the WCC who don’t like their friends being pulled into the light.

  4. Carol, I am horrified to hear that you and your extended family have been threatened. Authorities need to be notified of this; this is how such unscrupulous behaviour is enabled to continue by threats and intimidation which reeks of overindulgent powermongering. Keep up the magnificent work you do Carol. To those who are wielding such threats against someone who is simply requesting the truth on behalf of the citizens who pay for you to work at WCC shame shame shame on you; give it up please. Let the truth be as there is only so long you can hide behind the veil of secrecy.

  5. Very sorry that you feel that you can no longer name names in this credit card issue. This is a problem faced by many journalists and, when it comes to the safety or well being of yourself or members of you family, only you can make that decision. I was appalled by the suggestion that you might not have been seriously reporting this issue. particularly from one who will not put his or her named to those suggestions. If you do no more on this subject you have already done Warrnambool a great service. You have also done what most journalists aim to do, that is, shed light on issues that those in power would prefer remained in the shadows. Having said all that, I hope you can find a way to continue reporting on this subject.

  6. Carol, I am more than happy to be the one to name names on your behalf. I would be honoured in fact. The can try to intimidate me all they like, I want them to be held accountable and I want this attitude of entitlement stopped, once and for all.
    Keep up the good work.
    You Rock!!

  7. Carol- l thought you might need a Rottweiler, but l didn’t think that personal and extended family threats would ensue due to your reporting. I’m beyond disgusted and mortified and am actually lost for words- no, not quite. I’m pleased your away- it’s a tough call woman- but we live on our knees or die on our feet. Go public, blow the **** apart- lucky l don’t have that spear! (edited)

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