Shire of­fers pub­lic apol­ogy

Midwest Times - - FRONT PAGE - Francesca Mann

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.

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