Shire of Capel seek interest on anti-bullying policy

The Shire of Capel will be gaining professional advice on how to formulate an anti-bullying policy for its chief executive officer.

At the ordinary council meeting on November 27, councillors went behind closed doors to discuss president Michael Southwell's two motions.

The first original motion was for council to seek expressions of interest from an external independent advisor to assist in developing a policy to address and mitigate the risk of psychosocial harm from bullying or other behaviours in relation to the role of chief executive at Shire of Capel.

President Southwell said the motion was not in response to any complaints but rather to mitigate any risk of something happening in the future. In the agenda, Cr Southwell says the item is in response to the incident at the City of Cockburn where the chief executive has had to take sick leave due to an alleged unsafe workplace.

He said shire staff have a bullying policy but with council only having one employer - the chief executive, there was a gap in policy.

Southwell said the motion was carried with minor amendments.

The second motion was that the selection of a consultant for the new policy was a decision of council.

The decision to take the motion behind closed doors was left with jeers from the gallery as they shouted 'I thought you were going to be transparent' as they left the room.

However, Cr Southwell justified the decision by saying all matters relating to staff were done behind closed doors.

"It is odd that there were complaints now, as in the past when we have voted on staff matters like recruiting the CEO it was done behind closed doors and there wasn't a murmur," he said.