The Western Australian Government has suspended the Port Hedland Council and appointed a commissioner following ongoing ‘complaints and concerns’ over the council’s operation in the last 18 months, including complaints of bullying, dysfunction and misadministration.
"It is with regret I have had to step in as Minister to suspend the council and appoint a commissioner due to significant complaints and concerns over the past 18 months,” State Minister for Local Government David Templeman said.
The announcement comes a month after the State Government issued a Show Cause Notice requiring the council to demonstrate why it should not be dissolved.
"Following the issuing of the Show Cause Notice, I believe the Town has not provided any compelling reasons or justification that allay concerns about the council's future capacity to govern,” Mr Templeman said.
"Ratepayers and residents of the Town of Port Hedland are entitled to expect that their elected members will provide leadership for the community and effectively manage and control operations in the Town."
The Hon Fredrick Riebeling has been appointed commissioner for a period of six months. Mr Riebeling is a councillor with the City of Mandurah, a former president of the Shire of Roebourne, and a former long-time member of the Parliament of Western Australia representing the North-West.