CITY of Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels has defended the City’s spending of $7439 on a civic function for outgoing
chief executive Andrew Hammond on May 3.
The issue of the cost of the function was raised on social media.
Cr Sammels said Mr Hammond made a significant difference to the community over many years, so the council was
pleased to recognise his contribution with an official civic function.
“Recognising people who have made an important and enduring contribution to the community with a civic reception
is one of the responsibilities of local government,” he said.
“Andrew was an outstanding leader who took over the reins at a crucial time in our City’s development.
“He guided us through a period of unparalleled growth in our community and did an exemplary job of turning council’s vision into high-quality, practical, well-used services and facilities which have created more opportunities and better quality of life for our residents.
“At the same time, he made significant and far-reaching organisational adjustments which have created a highly professional and focussed workplace with one of the highest staff retention rates amongst local governments in WA.”
He would not be drawn on a number of attendees other than to say the event was attended by Mayors and CEO’s from many local governments, the Minister for Local Government, the Hon David Templeman MLA, local Member of Parliament, state government department representatives and directors, Freeman of the City, the City’s newly appointed CEO and other dignitaries.
Current and former City of Rockingham Councillors also attended, including Chris Elliott, Leigh Liley, Joy Stewart, Andrew Burns and Mark Jones.
Mayor Sammels said Local Government Minister David Templeman MLA gave a speech during the event.
A spokesperson for Mr Templeman confirmed he attended the event.
“Minister for Local Government David Templeman spoke about Mr Hammond’s leadership position in the State’s local government industry and his reputation for delivering innovative solutions that met the emerging needs of the community,” she said.
“He cited the City’s Rock Port online portal as a highly visible example of Mr Hammond’s recent innovations.”
The function was signed off on by Mayor Sammels under council policy.
The money came from the City’s general budget for receptions.
Local businesses were used to deliver the function, mainly the City’s contracted catering service provider, Impressions Catering.