You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

WA council suspended for six months

AAP logoAAP 4/01/2017

The Exmouth council in Western Australia's north has been suspended for six months and a commissioner has been appointed to oversee the local government.

It follows a Corruption and Crime Commission hearing in which Shire of Exmouth chief executive Bill Price was grilled over the awarding of a contract to Ocean Reefs Production for an aquarium, as part of the $32 million Ningaloo Centre, without calling for tenders.

The CCC noted non-compliance with the Local Government Act regarding procurement and tendering processes, and instances where the council failed to properly monitor the chief executive's actions that contravened the shire's code of conduct.

Local Government Minister Paul Miles had issued a show cause notice in December, asking why the council should not be suspended, but said the response failed to alleviate concerns.

"The evidence provided by the CCC in its hearing transcripts is damning in respect of the council's inability to govern effectively," he said.

"There is a grave lack of understanding by the council of their roles and responsibilities under the Local Government Act."

Mr Miles said there was sufficient evidence that it was inappropriate for the council to continue without intervention.

Former chief executive of the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Ian Fletcher will take on the role of commissioner.

He has more than 45 years' experience in the private and public sectors, including as an executive chairman of the WA Regional Development Council.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon