08/03/2018 - 15:39

Commissioners begin at City of Perth

08/03/2018 - 15:39

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The commissioners appointed to take charge of the City of Perth following the council’s suspension last week have commenced work, but the government is yet to establish an inquiry panel to investigate the issues that led to the suspension.

Eric Lumsden (left) with David Templeman, Gaye McMath and Andrew Hammond. Photo:Attila Csaszar

The commissioners appointed to take charge of the City of Perth following the council’s suspension last week have commenced work, but the government is yet to establish an inquiry panel to investigate the issues that led to the suspension.

Speaking to the media at Council House today, commissioner Eric Lumsden said the group was aiming to hold its first special meeting next Thursday.

"I have been briefed on the issues at the City of Perth and have met with the executive and staff,” he said

"The staff have been through a lot recently and it is important that they receive some stability and support during this time.

“All the commissioners are very keen and committed to ensure that good governance is restored.”

As well as Mr Lumsden, former University of Western Australia executive and Perth Education City executive director Gaye McMath, and the retiring chief executive of the City of Rockingham Andrew Hammond will be commissioners.

Mr Lumsden said a decision had not yet been made regarding whether the suspended councillors would be paid while the suspension is in place.

The other element of the suspension handed down by Local Government Minister David Templeman last week was the establishment of an inquiry panel to investigate the recent issues within the City.

Mr Templeman said the government was working towards forming an inquiry panel.

“We are in the process of establishing that panel and it will be in place as soon as is practicable, but it will certainly be a priority for me going forward,” he said.

The suspension comes after multiple changes among senior executives at the council.

Last week at a special council meeting, Ms Battista was selected to become the city’s third chief executive in less than two weeks.

Ms Battista was forced into the role after acting chief executive Robert Mianich went on personal leave following the announcement of the meeting, which was called to remove him as acting chief executive.

Mr Mianich took over the role as acting chief executive 11 days after chief executive Martin Mileham decided to take indefinite leave.

Mr Mileham’s decision came after he became aware of a private investigation by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, authorised by Ms Green while she was Acting Lord Mayor, into allegations about his conduct.

The investigation found there were no problems.

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