Coun­cil­lors face sack

North West Telegraph - - Front Page - Sy­narah Mur­phy and Robert Dougherty

The man who stepped in to act as a me­di­a­tor amid re­ports of quar­relling and dys­func­tion be­tween coun­cil­lors and staff at the Town of Port Hed­land will rec­om­mend dis­missal of all elected mem­bers, in­clud­ing Mayor Camilo Blanco.

For­mer City of Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der Mayor Ron Yurye­vich told coun­cil­lors of his de­ci­sion be­hind closed doors at a spe­cial meet­ing on Wednes­day last week.

Coun­cil­lors voted to ap­point Mr Yurye­vich in June this year fol­low­ing ac­cu­sa­tions of is­sues sur­round­ing trust and re­spect.

Mr Yurye­vich said he was un­able to make com­ment at this time.

His re­port will be sub­mit­ted to the De­part­ment of Lo­cal Govern­ment next week for in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The process may see the in­volve­ment of Lo­cal Govern­ment Min­is­ter David Tem­ple­man.

Mr Blanco said his first pref­er­ence would be to dis­miss in­di­vid­ual coun­cil­lors and if that was not forth­com­ing, the en­tire coun­cil.

“Un­der the new leg­is­la­tion, my first pref­er­ence would be to re­move ex­ist­ing coun­cil­lors and re­place them, to guar­an­tee bet­ter con­tentious de­ci­sion mak­ing for the best in­ter­est of the Town,” Mr Blanco said.

“I have sent let­ters to the State Premier, Min­is­ter of Lo­cal Govern­ment and Hous­ing.

“It’s a long­winded process, but if Mr Yurye­vich’s rec­om­men­da­tion is put for­warded (and ac­cepted), it will dis­miss coun­cil for two years.” In 2017-18, 82 com­plaints were re­ceived by the De­part­ment of Lo­cal Govern­ment, Sport and Cul­tural In­dus­tries con­cern­ing coun­cil­lors rep­re­sent­ing 26 lo­cal govern­ments.

The Town of Port Hed­land had eight com­plaints against its elected mem­bers dur­ing this pe­riod — the sec­ond high­est be­hind 10 com­plaints for the City of Melville.

A De­part­ment of Lo­cal Govern­ment, Sport and Cul­tural In­dus­tries spokes­woman said the de­part­ment had been ad­vised that Mr Yurye­vich in­tended to sub­mit a re­port rec­om­mend­ing the dis­missal of the Town of Port Hed­land coun­cil.

“Upon re­ceipt of any re­port, the de­part­ment will con­duct its own assess­ment and take any ac­tion deemed ap­pro­pri­ate,” the spokes­woman said.

Pic­ture: Rourke Walsh

Ron Yurye­vich

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