The first inquiry in to the City of Canning was characterised by suppressed evidence, limited witnesses and no Opposition politicians being interviewed. At a time when the Barnett Government is intent on restructuring councils, it is imperative the residents of Canning feel confidence in any further inquiry proceedings.
The most important party in determining if Canning is being effectively governed is the community itself.
The original investigation was conducted on the basis of evidentiary standards determined on the balance of probabilities by third parties. However, considerable amounts of evidence, and the natural justice submissions of councillors, have not been made public.
Almost no existing employees were interviewed, and representations from entities such as South Metropolitian Regional Council could be deemed “hostile” to the City of Canning.
No Labor politicians relevant to the Canning area appear in the inquiry’s report, at a time when the Barnett Government is intent on restructuring councils if returned to office.
Multiple councils in Western Australia are under a cloud. The difference with Canning is that the Mayor instigated the inquiry.
What we had was an experienced Councillor expressing concerns with the City. What occurred was a report finding the problems lay with the Council. The residents are left dangling with the indictment of “damning”.
Please ensure the next inquiry is conducted with absolute impunity, Minister Castrilli, and consider appointing residents of Canning to oversee the inquiry panel.