Authorised Inquiry – City of Melville

The City of Melville received notification today of the authorisation of an inquiry under section 8.3(1) of the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act).

Chief Executive Officer Dr Shayne Silcox has welcomed the authorised inquiry which will inquire into and report on the operations and affairs of the City of Melville in some key areas.

“Whilst the City had 90% of the community indicate satisfaction with the governance of the City of Melville in 2016, we acknowledge there is always opportunity to continuously review and improve,” Dr Silcox said.

“As a result of the increasing demand and pressures the City has been experiencing in relation to dealing with a number of issues which are now the focus of this inquiry, we have been actively seeking the involvement of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and other key agencies.

“Over the last couple of years, I have approached the State Government’s Parliamentary Committee on Public Administration, the Minister for Local Government’s office, the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and the Public Sector Commission, with copies of documents going to WorkSafe, in trying to seek some assistance and support for resolution of these issues which are affecting the City’s ability to deliver a safe workplace. As yet no one has been able to provide any reasonable avenues and/or mediation to resolve them.

“I have been extremely concerned for some time about the lack of support and avenues available to the Local Government sector to deal with repetitive complainants, particularly when the health and wellbeing of employees is at risk and resources being impacted and diverted away from the delivery of services to the community.

“I agree the number of complaints the Department is receiving is indicative of ‘underlying issues’ and we know the complaints they have received corresponds directly to the volume we are also experiencing, similarly from only a select number of complainants. According to a recent internal audit the cost to the ratepayer is conservatively estimated at more than $178,000 from just ten repetitive complainants.

“It is encouraging that the State Government will now seek to understand the “underlying issues” - this is what we have been asking for.  Particularly whilst the review of the Local Government Act is occurring we believe it should address the abuse of government processes by people who after exhaustive efforts to resolve their issues the City has identified as vexatious complainants.

 “The City is proud of staff achievements to date, which demonstrate a strong focus on governance, customer service and performance. For example the City has been independently identified by the Department of Local Government as the top local government in financial health and sustainability for every year they have assessed this criteria; top government organisation nationally in delivering customer service; has received the highest ranking of metropolitan local governments for urban planning from the Property Council Australia; and received the top level in business excellence for its systems and processes, which was acknowledged by the Governor of Western Australia and the Federal Government; and also has an externally accredited quality, safety and environment management system.

“On meeting with the Department this morning, I confirmed they will receive full access and cooperation from the City and that we welcome the opportunity from them to inquire and report on the issues we have been trying to resolve on our own.”

Click here to read the media statement by Local Government Minister David Templeman.