Shire offers public apology
The Shire of Perenjori has issued a public apology to one of its employees for a “lack of empathy and compassion” on four “intertwined” matters, including a workers compensation claim.
During September’s ordinary council meeting, councillors voted 6-2 in favour of publicly apologising to the Shire building maintenance officer Ivan Wells.
The public apology was published in the classifieds section of the October 5 edition of The Geraldton Guardian.
In November 2016, Mr Wells lodged an application with the Fair Work Commission in relation to unpaid tool and vehicle allowances. Mr Wells also lodged a workers compensation claim for events that occurred in December 2016.
According to briefing notes the two matters are intertwined with the Shire’s caravan park units development, which was approved by the council at a special meeting in July 2016.
During the 2016 meeting former chief executive Alison Mills’ recommendation to purchase three units from StratX Eggrock Australia for $150,000 to be used for accommodation was unanimously supported.
The purchase was funded through the Staff Housing Reserve account, but the project budget blew out by $100,000.
During the general electors meeting in February 2017 it was revealed that the units purchased were a “deficient product”, resulting in extensive work to bring the units up to liveable and building standards.
At the Shire’s most recent council meeting, councillors agreed that two of Ms Mills’ reports in 2016 on the project were “severely lacking” in information that would have helped the council’s decisionmaking process.
Councillors also agreed that Ms Mills’ project management and reports on the progress were “grossly inadequate”.
In the public apology, Shire president Laurie Butler and acting chief executive Stephen Tindale noted Mr Wells could not be blamed for the project’s delay and “significant overspend”.
Mr Wells has been on indefinite leave from the Shire since December 2016.
“The apology is made with a view of assisting Mr Wells return to the workplace,” Mr Butler and Mr Tindale wrote in the public notice. “Not only as a valued
The Shire of Carnarvon appointed a new chief executive at a special meeting in September.
Councillors unanimously agreed to appoint David Burton to the position on a five-year contract.
Since 2011, Mr Burton has been the chief executive at the Shire of Koorda, a small town in the northeastern Wheatbelt. He was also the chief executive at the Shire of Mount Magnet from 2008 to 2011, and has worked in local government roles for more than 25 years.
Mr Burton said he was looking forward to taking up the challenging role and moving to Carnarvon with his wife and two children.
Shire president Karl Brandenburg said the council received 39 applications for the position, which was previously filled by Ian D’Arcy.
Mark Dacombe has been the acting chief executive since January 2017. Mr Burton will officially begin his role on January 2.
David Burton has been appointed Shire of Carnarvon chief executive.