John Bowler

John Bowler

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

    Minister dismisses Joondalup Council

    2/12/2005 12:00 AM

    The councillors of the City of Joondalup were today dismissed by Local Government and Regional Development Minister John Bowler.

    The dismissal was the main recommendation of the Inquiry into the City of Joondalup, prepared by Mr Greg McIntyre SC.

    Mr Bowler said the 625-page report concluded that the council failed to provide good government by making decisions that were not rational or ethically sound.

    The dismissal of the council provided an opportunity for the Joondalup community to elect fresh representation.

    “While under the Act the dismissed councillors are allowed to again stand for election, I would hope there would be a clean break from the long-running situation and enable the City of Joondalup to re-establish itself as a quality local government,” the Minister said.

    Mr Bowler said election of new councillors for the City of Joondalup would be held on May 6, 2006.

    The Minister previously reaffirmed the Government was committed to maintaining a system of democratically elected councils and rejected the report’s second recommendation that proposed replacing democratically elected councillors with permanent commissioners.

    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.

    “Already we have dramatically tightened the way chief executive officers are appointed to present a repetition of the Smith fiasco, plus I have introduced into Parliament the Local Government Official Conduct Bill.”

    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.

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

    Minister's office: 9213 6500