The positions of councillors at the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River will be declared vacant on September 8 and three commissioners will be appointed to run the affairs of the shire.
Local Government Minister Paul Omodei announced the decision today and said the commissioners would be appointed for 12 months, the maximum period allowed by the Local Government Act in such circumstances.
An immediate effect of the decision would be the cancellation of a by-election for one council position which was to have been held on September 20.
Mr Omodei said the shire nominally had 11 councillors. One resigned in July and five others resigned on August 19, with their resignations effective on September 8.
This would leave the council without a quorum until September 20 and with only a bare quorum after that date, with potential difficulties in achieving an absolute majority in certain decisions.
Mr Omodei said the decision to ask the Governor to declare the remaining positions on the council vacant was not a reflection of the councillors concerned.
The commissioners to be appointed on September 8 are Mr E H (Jim) Kelly as chairman, Mr Edward George Tait, deputy chairman, and Mr Harry Morgan AM.
Mr Kelly is a former CEO of the Shires of Kojonup and Kalamunda, the inaugural CEO of the Town of Victoria Park and was the CEO overseeing the amalgamation of the Town and Shire of Albany to form the City of Albany.
Mr Tait is chairman of Macquarie Bank in Western Australia and has served as a Busselton Shire Councillor
Mr Morgan is a company director and former Perth City councillor, and was one of the commissioners involved in the division of the former City of Wanneroo to create Joondalup and Wanneroo.
The cost of the commissioners will be borne by the shire, but is expected to be less that the total cost of the current councillors.
Media contact: Hugh Ryan 9213 6700