Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery has vowed not to forget the lessons learned from the 2008 Wollongong City Council corruption scandal.
Welcoming news this week that the Independent Commission Against Corruption had closed all its cases relating to the inquiry, Cr Bradbery said it was important people did not shy away from the reality of what had happened.
"It happened; we learned from the mistakes," he said.
"Wollongong council is a very different place today to what it was five years ago."
ICAC this week announced it had resolved the last outstanding legal matters relating to the inquiry, accepting advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute former Wollongong town planner Beth Morgan and developer Frank Vellar over their alleged conduct surrounding Vellar's proposed Quattro development.
Former Wollongong City Council general manager Rod Oxley, who had a corrupt conduct finding made against him as a result of the inquiry but was not recommended to face possible charges, yesterday said the community had the right to ask serious questions about the whole process.
"It's been six years since the ICAC raid on the council, four years since the findings were reported to Parliament and in that time the council's been sacked and the city's image and reputation has been under question," he said.
"All the while, not one person was ever charged with corrupt conduct, only lying to the ICAC.
"The question has to be asked: was it all worth it?"
Cr Bradbery said major structural, policy and governance changes made while the council was under administration had helped make it more transparent and accountable.
"They [the administrators] put a broom through the place," he said, adding councillors and staff were more closely scrutinised now.
"As a council we're back to focusing on our main role, which is to put policy in place and not interfere with the administration side of the council, which happened in the past."