City of Wanneroo legal costs climb in 2017-18

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE City of Wanneroo spent $1.5 million on legal expenses last financial year, a 25 per cent increase on 2016-17.

Governance and legal executive manager Mustafa Yildiz said the $1.5 million spent in 2017-18 included $60,000 spent resolving State Administrative Tribunal appeals, while in the previous year $10,000 of the $1.2 million spent related to SAT matters.

“Issues related to health, safety and compliance are priorities for the City, and addressing these issues often requires incurring legal expenses,” Mr Yildiz said.

“Examples of such issues include but are not limited to the City prosecuting for dog attacks, non-compliance with planning and building legislation, resolving appeals to SAT and resolving litigious disputes.

“SAT is a ‘no cost jurisdiction’ and each party generally incurs their costs irrespective of whether they are successful.”

Mr Yildiz said the consolidated expenses did not take into account legal costs awarded for successful prosecutions and decisions, fines, or amounts ordered to be paid to the City or that are incurred on behalf of developer contribution areas.

He said the City recouped $450,000 in 2016-17 and $650,000 in 2017-18.

The City of Stirling spent $1.64 million on legal fees last financial year, up from $1.03 million in 2016-17.

The City of Joondalup spent $507,842 in 2017-18, up from $374,742 the previous year, and recouped $177,646 in 2016-17 and $173,916 in 2017-18.