Melville inquiry: Mayor responds to seven key recommendations

City of Melville administration building.
City of Melville administration building.

MELVILLE Mayor Russell Aubrey says the release of a long-awaited report into the City vindicates the way it dealt with a small number of “unreasonable people” in the community.

An inquiry into the City of Melville was launched in November 2017 in response to more than 300 complaints made about the council to the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries since 2014.

A report, to be tabled in State Parliament today, includes 17 findings and seven recommendations, including that the council regularly review their public question time policy, the City consider engaging an independent person to act on complaints for a three-month period, senior staff undertake training in complaint management and the City undertakes an independent governance review.

The report found the City had provided good governance but was not always as open and transparent as it could have been.

It was also found that some complainants were unreasonable in their expectations of the council and the City.

Local Government Minister David Templeman. Picture: Jessica Warriner

Local Government Minister David Templeman said the recommendations would be the catalyst the City needed to drive cultural change.

“In particular, the complaints management process needs to be improved to ensure all parties are better informed, have a clearer understanding of their roles and ultimately lead to more positive internal and external interactions,” he said.

“Serious consideration has been given to the appropriateness of the recommendations to ensure the utmost benefit is afforded to the City and ultimately the community.

“The report and its findings should give confidence to the community to actively participate in the local government elections in October.”

Civic leaders: City of Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey and chief executive Marten Tieleman.

Mr Aubrey said he was reasonably happy with the report but was frustrated with Mr Templeman’s comments.

“We had a problem with a small section of the community acting unreasonably but the inquiry was into the local government not the community,” he said.

“The Minister has called on the City to drive cultural change but I don’t know how we can change unreasonable people.

“No other local government has experienced this.

“What concerns myself is the Minister’s press release, it appears to be different from the report.

“We’ll accept the recommendations and comply with the requests.”