By PAUL MILLAR
A HOTLINE to report bullying at City of Greater Geelong has had two calls in its first four weeks.
But a union official said the number of calls did not indicate the extent of bullying at City Hall.
City chief Gillian Miles confirmed the two calls to the “access line”.
“Our 2500-plus staff are encouraged to access the line or to use other existing avenues open to them,” she told the Independent.
A City Hall spokesperson said “independent organisation” Worklogic operated the phone line.
Council has pledged $6000 for the service and $200,000 for an investigation of bullying allegations at City Hall.
Australian Services Union branch secretary Richard Duffy said workers were uncomfortable complaining to a phone service paid by the City.
The process could only be truly independent with State Government in control of the investigation, he said.
“Sometimes with an internal investigation they get what they want…we’re encouraging people to come forward but people are not comfortable with the process.
“I think the (responsible) State Government minister should be looking after it.’’
Mr Duffy said three or four council workers would “put pen to paper” after complaining to a separate union hotline about City Hall bullying.
“We’ll then get them in to speak to lawyers and, based on what we’ve got, we could seek a meeting with the State Government.”
Ms Miles appointed Ernst and Young to lead the bullying investigation.
“Ernst and Young will bring transparency and a wealth of experience to this review,” she said.
Ms Miles also announced the appointment of former Australian Human Rights Commission commissioner Susan Halliday to advise on the review.
“It is important that I receive expert and independent advice and I am confident that this can be achieved by these two appointments,” Ms Miles said.