Local Government Minister orders City of Perth council to be suspended

Local government Minister David Templeman has announced that he will move to suspend the Perth City Council following months of controversy.

The council will be suspended from Friday. The Minister for Local Government said he would consider two pathways that could be followed, but either would result in the suspension of the scandal plagued City of Perth council.

“I met with the Lord Mayor and the City of Perth councillors regarding the situation at the City of Perth… in my view it is now untenable for the council to continue,” Templeman told the media this afternoon.

“Therefore I have indicated to them that it is my intention to suspend that council. This is a serious matter and the recent events, including those over the last eight days has confirmed to me that a line needs to be drawn in the sand.”

Yesterday the council appointed it’s third CEO in as many weeks. Annaliese Battista, the City’s Director of Economic Development and Activation, was appointed to the role.

The city’s CEO Martin Mileham took personal leave after he discovered he’d been secretly investigated for misconduct. A three month investigation ordered by the council found accusations of misconduct by Mileham were baseless.

Prior to going on leave, Mileham appointed the city’s Corporate Services Director Robert Mianich to serve as Acting CEO.

Yesterday councilors Lexi Barton, Steve Hasluck, James Limnios and Reece Harley called a special meeting to discuss if the appointment of an Acting CEO should be made by council rather than the CEO. Robert Mianich, the man currently in the role of Acting CEO, also took leave, just hours after the plan to oust him from his position became public.

Yesterday Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said the proposal to change the policy was “unprecedented” attempt to change what would have normally been a simple administrative matter. However the majority of Councillors voted to amend the policy and appoint Battista to the position.

The decision highlighted a clear change power bases in the council following last year’s local government election. Previously the Lord Mayor had enjoyed the support of a majority of her colleagues, but with the election of Councillors Hasluck and Barton there is a clear voting block that is often in disagreement with the Lord Mayor.

The Lord Mayor has only recently returned after standing down from her role for a four month period. Lisa Scafiddi is still awaiting the outcome of 19 breaches of the rules over accepting gifts and travel.

Today Local Government Minister David Templeman said the council was no longer functioning.

“The City of Perth, the ratepayers, the residents, the businesses there deserve better. They in my view have not received quality governance from their council. This matter has damaged local government in this state.” Templeman said.

Shadow Minister for Local Government Tony Krsticevic had also called for the council to be removed.

OIP Staff

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