Tensions rose during the Shire of Harvey’s annual electors meeting, after a community member called for a vote of no confidence in shire president Tania Jackson.
At the Australind council chambers on Tuesday, January 22, Brian Hanson submitted a petition – featuring 139 signatures – pleading for a special electors meeting.
Presenting to council, Mr Hanson said the signatures had come from people in Australind, Binningup, Harvey, Roelands, and other areas within the district.
Shire chief executive officer Annie Riordan confirmed the meeting would be held at the Harvey chambers on Tuesday, February 12 from 5.30pm.
An agenda will be made available prior to the meeting.
“The electors on that form were checked off against the electoral roll, so it was found to have a legitimate 100-signature minimum,” Ms Jackson said.
The shire president said Mr Hanson has talked to council about the Bunbury Outer Ring Road on a number of occasions.
“I think Mr Hanson has grown increasingly frustrated with the Bunbury Outer Ring Road, and the answers he has been receiving,” she said.
“He has been coming to council demanding more information, which we haven’t been able to give him.”
Ms Jackson said she was pleased with everything the council has done for the region.
“The Shire of Harvey is proud of its achievements in engaging the community, attempting to respond to people, and delivering a very good service,” she said.
“Local governments have to make decisions sometimes that are not always going to make people happy.
“I do believe this brings our shire council into disrepute and I don’t think that this is fair.”
Ms Jackson said there were only two ways in which a councillor could be removed from their position.
“The only time council can be changed is through the election process, or if there’s a major breach and the minister decides that a council needs to be removed from office,” she said.
“New legislation now allows for an individual councillor to be removed if there is a serious breach.
“Besides a councillor having to resign for other reasons, there is nothing else that can change a council.”
According to the Local Government Amendment (Suspension And Dismissal) Act 2018 Circular, the local government minister has “the power to suspend and/or order an individual council member to undertake remedial action when the minister is satisfied that it is inappropriate for the council member to continue to act as a member of council without intervention”.