01/03/2018 - 13:46

City reveals WorkSafe meeting

01/03/2018 - 13:46

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The City of Perth has revealed that chief executive Martin Mileham sought advice from WorkSafe in July last year regarding the council's work environment, and that its executive team sent a letter to the Department of Local Government expressing concerns about elected councillors last month.

Martin Mileham met with WorkSafe in July last year.

The City of Perth has revealed that chief executive Martin Mileham sought advice from WorkSafe in July last year regarding the council's work environment, and that its executive team sent a letter to the Department of Local Government expressing concerns about elected councillors last month.

The news comes after Local Government Minister David Templeman yesterday flagged his intention to suspend the Perth council, describing the current situation as untenable.

In a statement, the city said that, following the meeting with Worksafe, Mr Mileham conducted a review of the city’s processes for ensuring a safe workplace.

As part of the review the executive team submitted examples of elected members that were ‘of a concerning nature’.

The city said a substantial number of examples were provided, and after seeking legal advice a number of instances were reported to the Department of Local Government.

“In addition to these actions a facilitated workshop was held on November 20 2017 between members of the executive and elected members to help ensure effective working relations were established,” the city said.

The city also revealed that the executive sent a letter to the Department of Local Government and Communities on February 12 expressing concern about council’s functioning, including some councillors’ conduct.   

“In order to ensure the adequate protection of staff, a series of communication protocols were established to protect employees, while ensuring that elected members could carry out their functions,” the city said.

LG Professionals WA released a statement today calling for safe workplaces for local government workers.

“Local government is no different to any other workplace and it is critical for employers to provide a safe workplace, particularly for senior officers who interact regularly with elected members,” chief executive Candy Choo said

“Providing a safe workplace is important to all, from elected members, to CEOs, to frontline local government employees.

"To achieve this, all parties must collaborate and work together on strategies that are solution focused and evidence based.”

Speaking at Dumas House on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Templeman said he would suspend the council on Friday.

“This is a serious matter and the recent events including those over the last eight days have confirmed to me that a line needs to be drawn in the sand,” he said

“The City of Perth, the ratepayers, the residence and the businesses there deserve better – they, in my view, have not received quality governance from the council.”

Mr Templeman is considering two options for suspension and said he was still awaiting additional information, including legal advice, before making a final decision.

One option being considered is to issue a show-cause notice, which would give the city 21 days to explain why it should not be suspended.

The second option is an immediate suspension with a panel inquiry into the council conducted by commissioners.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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