Council: Perth ratepayers set to wait until 2020 for inquiry results

Investigator Tony Power with Kim Lendich today. Photo: Jessica Warriner.
Investigator Tony Power with Kim Lendich today. Photo: Jessica Warriner.

PERTH ratepayers will have to wait more than a year for their councillors to return to the chamber.

Local Government minister David Templeman has extended the inquiry period into the City of Perth through to January 20, 2020.

The panel’s single member, Tony Power, was appointed on May 1 last year to investigate the City’s affairs between October 2015 and the start of March 2018.

A report was expected by May this year.

A spokeswoman for Mr Templeman said the inquiry had been extended to ensure “proper consideration of the issues that have been identified”.

“The recently completed discovery phase of the inquiry has collected almost three million electronic documents, 22 archive boxes of hard copy material and almost 90 electronic devices,” she said.

“The evidence obtained to date has yielded multiple lines of inquiry and a significant number of issues requiring further investigation.”

The Lord Mayor and councillors have been suspended since March 2, 2018.

Counsel Assisting the Panel Kim Lendich said in November there were a large number of serious matters to look in to.

“They appear to be endemic at the City,” she said.

The suspended Lord Mayor, Deputy Lord Mayor and three other Perth councillors are set to have their terms expire during the extended Inquiry period.

At the completion of the Inquiry, Mr Power will have the authority to recommend dismissing or reinstating the remaining suspended council members.

The spokeswoman for Mr Templeman said if Council is dismissed, there will be an extraordinary election to fill the vacancies.