City of Perth council suspended
The City of Perth council has been suspended by Western Australian Local Government Minister David Templeman and an inquiry panel is to be establilshed to investigate the City's governance issues.
The suspension followed the gazettal of a Governor's Order as a result of ongoing concerns of failure by the elected council to ensure that the local government performs its functions properly.
The suspension order, outlined under section 8.19 of the Local Government Act 1995, will see three commissioners fulfil the role of the suspended council and ensure continuity of service to ratepayers while the inquiry is underway.
The appointed commissioners are Eric Lumsden, retiring chairperson of the Western Australian Planning Commission; Gaye McMath, former executive director of Perth Education City; and Andrew Hammond, retiring chief executive officer of the City of Rockingham,.
The inquiry panel, yet to be announced, will have the powers of a Royal Commission and the authority to make recommendations as to whether the council should be dismissed or reinstated.
Following the inquiry, which could take a number of months, a report will be prepared for the Minister to decide what action the State Government will take.
Mr Templeman said the situation at the City of Perth had become untenable.
“I have formed a view that if I do not intervene, I am failing in my responsibilities as Minister and not fulfilling my obligations under the Local Government Act.”
In a statement on Twitter, suspended Lord May Lisa Scaffidi admitted that she had "failed in my responsibility to deliver to the ratepayers effective local government". However, she said she welcomed the independent review of council activities "as recent events (which have not been of my doing and which I have not been able to control) have caused me grave concerns."