Dismissal of Hedland councillors recommended

Synarah Murphy and Robert DoughertyNorth West Telegraph
Ron Yuryevich.
Camera IconRon Yuryevich. Credit: The Kimberley Echo, Rourke Walsh

The man who stepped in to act as a mediator amid reports of quarrelling and dysfunction between councillors and staff at the Town of Port Hedland will recommend dismissal of all elected members, including Mayor Camilo Blanco.

Former Kalgoorlie Mayor Ron Yuryevich told councillors of his decision behind closed doors at a special meeting on Wednesday.

Councillors voted to appoint Mr Yuryevich in June this year following accusations of issues surrounding trust and respect.

Mr Yuryevich said he was unable to make comment at this time.

His report will be submitted to the Department of Local Government next week for investigation.

The process may see the involvement of Local Government Minister David Templeman.

Mr Blanco said his first preference would be to dismiss individual councillors and, if that was not forthcoming, the entire council.

“Under the new legislation, my first preference would be to remove existing councillors and replace them, to guarantee better... decision making for the best interest of the town,” he said.

“I have sent letters to the State Premier, Minister of Local Government and Housing.

“It’s a long winded process, but if Mr Mr Yuryevich’s recommendation is put forwarded (and accepted) it will dismiss council for two years.”

In 2017-18, 82 complaints were received by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries concerning councillors representing 26 local governments.

The Town of Port Hedland had eight complaints against its elected members during this period - the second highest behind ten complaints for the City of Melville.

A Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries spokeswoman said the department has been advised that Mr Yuryevich intends to submit a report recommending the dismissal of the Town of Port Hedland council.

“Upon receipt of any report the department will conduct its own assessment and take any action deemed appropriate,” the spokeswoman said.

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