The Inquiry into the City of Perth is preparing for its first public examinations of witnesses, scheduled to commence in early August.
The public hearings will include the examination of key figures in the lead up to the suspension of Perth City Council in March 2018 and the subsequent appointment of Commissioners.
Those expected to be examined include Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi, current and former councillors, the former Chief Executive Officer Martin Mileham and other members of the executive leadership group.
The public hearings will follow months of private examinations which are scheduled to continue through July.
By the time the Inquiry concludes its hearings, it will have examined at least 100 witnesses, including councillors, former councillors, current and former employees of the City, and members of the public.
After an initial period of background investigation and analysis of data, the Inquiry held its public opening on 21 November 2018 and, at that time, encouraged any members of the general community with insights or information about the City of Perth to come forward. Submissions relevant to the Terms of Reference have assisted in informing the Inquiry’s understanding of the events, relationships and practices of the City.
In the seven months since the public opening, the Inquiry has conducted private examinations of more than 70 witnesses including ratepayers, business owners, current and former City employees, service providers, elected officials and others, including Government representatives and members of the community.
These examinations have been conducted in private to respect the privacy of the witnesses and to ensure that the Inquiry’s ongoing investigations are not prejudiced by the disclosure of confidential and sometimes sensitive information.
In the same period,the Inquiry has issued an additional 47 notices to produce documents and information. The Inquiry now holds more than four million documents and more than 110 electronic devices. It has identified a significant number of key documents within its holdings which will inform the Inquiry’s focus over the coming months.
The work of the Inquiry has been more complex and time-consuming than expected. Public hearings will provide an opportunity to see the extent of the systemic, organisational and individual failures and dysfunctions at the City of Perth.