Report warning for Perth council hopefuls

A damning report into the City of Perth council is a warning for candidates, the WA government says.
A damning report into the City of Perth council is a warning for candidates, the WA government says.

A scathing report into the City of Perth has ensured fresh scrutiny will be cast on candidates for the upcoming council elections.

The 2000-page report tabled in Western Australia's parliament highlights greed, incompetence and mismanagement by council members.

It reveals more than 135 matters - many concerning suspected criminal behaviour - have been referred to state and commonwealth authorities for further investigation.

Two organisations and 23 individuals, including council members and senior administration figures, have been referred in relation to the matters, although Commissioner Tony Power said the referrals did not confirm any wrongdoing.

Among the issues identified were councillors and candidates using sham leases to become eligible to stand for election.

Local Government Minister David Templeman says the report sends a clear message to prospective candidates.

"You would want to make sure that you have a genuine right to serve and make sure that that right is rock solid if you're going to put your hand up," he said.

"I think there's a lot of interest in these elections in October and I think there'll be a lot of people who will look very closely at their eligibility."

The probe was launched following a failure by Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi to disclose travel and gifts, reports of infighting between councillors, two chief executives taking stress leave and the suspension of the council in March 2018.

Media personality Basil Zempilas is one of six candidates to become the new lord mayor along with former ABC presenter Di Bain, retired magistrate Tim Schwass, radio host Mark Gibson, start-up founder Brodie McCulloch and architect Sandy Anghie.

Ms Bain, who has promised to run as a "true independent", said factionalism had crippled the City of Perth.

"We need people that can without fear or favour make a decision and not feel pressure to vote a certain way because someone helped them get elected," she said.

Australian Associated Press