Interim CEOs to be appointed

At the Department of Local Government briefing, acting Director-General Jennifer Mathews said the government would counter councils’ submissions to the Local Government Advisory Board by October 4 if nothing was sent, or if councils proposed different borders.

Ms Mathews said current chief executives would have jobs until July 1, 2015, when commissioners would select interim heads of the administrations whose permanent replacements would be chosen by the new councils after October 2015 elections.

Briefing attendees said questions about merger funds, submissions’ content and mid-Swan River borders produced replies such as ‘we’re sending you that’ and ‘that’s being investigated’.

The Local Government Managers Association is now seeking legal advice on the implications for all employment contracts and wants the need for interim chief executives clarified.

‘Current chief executives may face the dreadful dilemma of having to deal with councillors who are antagonistic to the government’s plans and how to keep staff working through mergers when their jobs are already busy,’ association president Shayne Shilcox said.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson’s spokeswoman said legislation adding two members to the board would be in Parliament early next month and council staff would have employment for at least two years until July 2017, but anyone anyone leaving before would have payments capped at 12 months.