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Bellarine Community Health (BCH) has defended allegations made to it by Bellarine MP Lisa Neville.
Ms Neville criticised the organisation, claiming that it directly disobeyed a government order not to appoint a new CEO.
Shane Dawson was appointed as BCH’s CEO, but Ms Neville said in a media statement that BCH was “instructed by the Minister not to appoint a new CEO” and asked the Minister for Health to “consider options including the transfer of government services and funding to another provider”.
“I would like to assure the community that BCH did not ignore a directive, in fact the Minister and the Department of Health have been aware for months that we have been recruiting a new CEO,” BCH board chair Hazel Ingram said.
BCH said that at no stage, in any meetings with the Minister or the Minister’s advisers was Bellarine Community Health told to not proceed with appointing a CEO. Department of Health advisers were informed at a meeting on Tuesday 23 May that an appointment for the position was imminent.
“We’re confused by Ms Neville’s ongoing attacks,” Ms Ingram said.
“How is not appointing a new CEO and calling for the removal of funding for services in the best interests of our clients who are among the most vulnerable on the Bellarine?”
“Our current CEO John Fendyk is just weeks from retirement. We have a responsibility to the users of our services and our staff to demonstrate good governance and put in place an experienced CEO to lead the organisation going forward. This sort of public commentary is very distressing for our staff and our clients.”

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