CLEARED: Local councillor exonerated after vicious smear campaign

dalepeters A long-time popular Banyule councillor Dale Peters has been cleared of allegations of wrongdoing after a frequently vicious media campaign against him during 2006.

The councillor was falsely accused of dudding a charity, the Victorian Emergency Relief Fund. The governing committee of the charity looked into the claims against Peters and found there was nothing in them. They suspected the sources of the stories were political rivals of  Peters, with over-active imaginations and an axe to grind. Peters was an active member of the ALP’s moderate grouping Labor Unity at the time.

Undeterred, The Age newspaper, several local newspapers and Today Tonight repeated these claims as fact. Today Tonight had a particularly extreme approach, with one of their reporters investigated by Victoria Police on allegations that he’d assaulted the former mayor.

Peters had worked for the charity, which successfully raised many tens of thousands of dollars for the victims of bushfires in regional Victoria, including farmers and many others directly hurt by the consequences of the fire.

When regulators in the Victorian department of Consumer Affairs followed up the allegations, they found the full audited financial statements of the organisation revealed that essentially every dollar was accounted for and that – under Peters’ guidance – tens of thousands of dollars had been successfully generated for deserving beneficiaries.

Those facts had previously been clouded by constant reference to the quantum of funds raised without mention of the cost of actually raising the funds, including postage, premises and staff. “The ugly thing about it was that any charity could have been attacked that way,” said one close observer familiar with situation.

“The Salvo’s obviously raise a lot of money in fundraising appeals and they spend a lot to collect the funds, in advertising, mail costs, staff and what not. The criticism some in the press made of Peters was that he was miraculously expected to raise funds without incurring costs. It’s good the authorities finally saw through all the bulldust”, he said.

Newspaper - Dale

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “CLEARED: Local councillor exonerated after vicious smear campaign

  1. Pants man

    Why is Diana asmar using The ALP logo on her campaign material in the Darebin council elections? as far as i know Diana is not an endorsed candidate

  2. Anonymous

    Makes Martin Appleby look like the wanker he is when he appeared on Today Tonight making all sorts of wild accusations against Peters.

    Will Martin Appleby be a man and apologise for his pathetic effort or will he shirk the chance and stay the little boy that he is?

  3. Anonymous

    That guy’s a spunk!

  4. Jane Govan

    Hi My Name is Jane Goven and i was sacked from the HSU and now in between trips to centre link i will be Diana Asmars running mate in the Darebin council elections

  5. Anon

    Dale Peters for Eltham.

  6. Anonymous

    Dale Peters would win Eltham if he stood. The only question is: will he?

  7. Anonymous

    Dale Peters was Mayor, a title Craig Langdon never achieved – that must eat him up inside.

  8. The Mare

    Who gives a toss. Time to abolish local government!!!! It is generally incompetent and attracts pissants like …. well you know!

  9. Anonymous

    Speaking of local councils whats been happening in casey of late?

    Any candidates of note?

  10. Justice in politics

    Andrew thanks for the update. I thought the smear campaign was a little hard to believe. Those responsible for making the false allegations should be exposed named and shamed.

  11. Anonymous

    Cr Dean Sherriff lodged a writ fully loaded with subpoenas against an opposing candidate today. It seems he said he didn’t live in the municipality: very easy for Sherriff to prove. Stay tuned.

  12. Anonymous

    Martin Appleby is indeed a little boy who thankfully will lose in his 3rd bid for a Banyule Council seat on November 29th.

  13. Anon Anonski

    With council elections looming isn’t it reasonable that the ombudsman give updates on the investigations it is is conducting into local councils such as casey and brimbank?
    Don’t those communities deserve at least some indication of the issues arising from the investigations before CEO’s start claiming that the rot has been cut out with the election of new councils and should be free to start rorting all over again???

  14. GET RID OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

    The corruption and sex scandals plus stupid decisions continue to surround Local government particularly at Melbourne, Whitehorse, Brimbank and Casey are the reason I believe we should get rid of the 3rd tier of government, and just have Federal and State Governments.

    Federal and State governments are made accountable through TV, radio and print media.

    local government has little accountablity except through local papers.

    Now mainly thanks to this website we see some of them exposed

  15. Anonymous

    UPDATE: Main candidate against Dean Sherriff (ALP – Labor Unity) in Grimshaw Ward, Jess Paul, is the niece of Colin Brooks MP’s Electorate Officer. Watch for a ding-dong battle.

  16. Anonymous

    Bit of a problem looming for the Appleby family around banyule FC.
    Police investigating.

  17. Anonymous

    still waiting for the police!!

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