John Bowler

John Bowler

Former Minister for Local Government; Employment Protection; Racing and Gaming; Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern

    Damning Joondalup Council Inquiry report tabled

    11/10/2005 12:00 AM

    A damning 625-page report from the Inquiry into the City of Joondalup was today tabled in Parliament, recommending the dismissal of the council.

    The report, prepared by Mr Greg McIntyre SC, makes 25 recommendations and was tabled by Local Government and Regional Development Minister John Bowler.

    Mr McIntyre’s report has also been referred to the Corruption and Crime Commission by the Department of Local Government and Regional Development.

    The City of Joondalup and suspended council members have 35 days after today to respond to the report. However, Mr Bowler reaffirmed the Government was committed to maintaining a system of democratically elected councils.

    “While I will consider the recommendations fully, I will not support the second recommendation that proposes replacing democratically elected councillors with permanent commissioners,” the Minister said.

    “Local Government decisions can have a huge effect on people’s lives and it is crucial that people have a say in choosing their local representatives.”

    In his report, Mr McIntyre concludes that the council failed to provide good government by making decisions that were not rational or ethically sound.

    The report is damning of a number of individual councillors who, Mr McIntyre believed, engaged in conduct that was unreasonable, inappropriate and otherwise unethical. This conduct contributed to the poor relationships within the council and to its eventual dysfunction.

    Mr McIntyre is also damning of the conduct of Mr Denis Smith, the former CEO of the City of Joondalup. Thirteen of the 72 specific conclusions were adverse to Mr Smith.

    “Several of the recommendations by Mr McIntyre promote good practice by local government in general and will be considered,” Mr Bowler said.

    “After the closing of submissions, I will decide whether to accept the inquiry recommendation to dismiss the council or not.”

    The inquiry was established following the suspension of the City of Joondalup Council in December 2003 by the then Minister for Local Government and Regional Development. Mr McIntyre was appointed in May 2004 to inquire into the operations and affairs of the City of Joondalup.

    Minister's office: 9213 6500