Shire mis­con­duct flour­ished: re­port

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

The Shire of Exmouth is the lat­est ex­am­ple of the lo­cal gov­ern­ment is­sues the Cor­rup­tion and Crime Com­mis­sion has seen a lot of in the past few years, the CCC com­mis­sioner says.

Com­mis­sioner John McKech­nie told ABC Ra­dio last Wednes­day good gov­er­nance and ad­her­ence to pol­icy was a “real is­sue”, es­pe­cially in smaller re­gional lo­cal gov­ern­ments such as Exmouth.

“When you’re elected to a po­si­tion, ig­no­rance is no ex­cuse … you can­not let friend­ship or ig­no­rance get in the way of good gov­er­nance,” he said. The CCC Re­port on Mat­ters of Se­ri­ous Mis­con­duct at the Shire of Exmouth, tabled in Par­lia­ment last Tues­day, stated se­ri­ous mis­con­duct “flour­ished” at the Shire and rec­om­mended prose­cu­tion of its former chief ex­ec­u­tive and a former em­ployee should be con­sid­ered.

The doc­u­ment sum­marised the opin­ions of the cor­rup­tion watch­dog’s Op­er­a­tion Sara, which in­ves­ti­gated claims of mis­con­duct by some Shire of Exmouth em­ploy­ees at public hear­ings in Novem­ber last year.

Of fo­cus in the re­port were the ac­tions of former Shire chief ex­ec­u­tive Bill Price, who the com­mis­sion de­scribed as “a law unto him­self”; the con­duct of former Shire strate­gic projects of­fi­cer An­drew Forte, who was claimed to have ben­e­fited fi­nan­cially from his friend­ship with Mr Price; and the award­ing of a $1 mil­lion con­tract for the Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre aquar­ium with­out go­ing to ten­der.

In a state­ment re­spond­ing to the re­port last week, Shire in­terim com­mis­sioner Ian Fletcher said they had been work­ing closely with the Depart­ment of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Public Sec­tor Com­mis­sion and West­ern Aus­tralian Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion to ad­dress the is­sues high­lighted by the CCC public hear­ings.

He said those ac­tions in­cluded ter­mi­nat­ing the em­ploy­ment of Mr Price and Mr Forte, re­view­ing Shire poli­cies and un­der­tak­ing au­dits, in­clud­ing of the Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.