8/         Leasing of Crown Land to a Councillor.  continues.                        ref/10

Lot 589   (second Lot)

Crown reserve 25448, being Lot 589 Grey St. Kalbarri WA 6536. Vested to the Shire of Northampton and zoned "Tourist Accommodation". A rectangular parcel of land comprising 4,029 sq.m; being flat and level, with all main services available and utilised as part of Cr. Ron Allen's Murchison Caravan Park.

Prior to October 2005 Cr. Ron Allen was leasing Lot 589 (Crown Land) for $0.74 per sq. meter. ($2,962p/a)

October 2005 the CEO, Garry Keeffe employed Professionals Kalbarri Realty/Licensed Valuer to provide a revised unimproved ground rental valuation.

This valuation is on public record and worth reading, being reminded that any valuation done on Council managed Crown Land is usually done on unimproved land value. As a note of interest it is reported that Lot 588, 1,426 sq.m. accommodated 11 camping bays. Lot 589 which is 4,029 sq.m. is reported to accommodate only 13 bays?

It has been conservatively estimated that Cr Ron Allen, lessee, would receive a gross income of $60,000 from this one block of Crown Land?  Leasing it from you the tax payer for only $1.64 /sq.m. compliments of our Council.

The following is information that is on public record, reproduced for public information/education.


Extract Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of Council held at the Northampton Council
Chambers, Hampton Road Northampton on Thursday 17th November 2005


11.12 ADMINISTRATION AND CORPORATE REPORT
11.12.1 CROWN RESERVE 25448 - LOT 589 GREY STREET,
KALBARRI (ITEM 6.5.1)
Cr Gliddon declared an interest in this item as the company used to provide the valuation for this Item, employs a family member, and therefore may incur a financial gain or loss from Council's decision and left the meeting at 3.50pm.

Moved Cr Kramer, seconded Cr Link
That Council adopt an annual rent of $20,000 for Crown Reserve 25448, Lot 589 Grey Street, Kalbarri, and this revised rent be negotiated with the Lessee.
LOST 2/6
For
the Motion - Cr Kramer and Cr Link
Against the Motion - Cr Parker, Cr Wilson, Cr E Simkin, Cr O Simkin, Cr
Ash and Cr Maskrey


Moved Cr Ash, seconded Cr E Simkin
That Council adopt an annual rent of $6,600 for Crown Reserve 25448, Lot 589 Grey Street, Kalbarri, and this revised rent be negotiated with the Lessee.
CARRIED 6/2
Cr Kramer and Cr Link recorded their vote against the motion.
Cr Gliddon entered the meeting at 4.30pm.


KT Comment/opinion.

With Gliddon excusing herself from the vote again it left only 2 Kalbarri Councillors, Kramer and Link the ones with local knowledge to put the case forward, trying to achieve the best result of $4.96 /sq.m. for the ratepayers. But as you can see the best for the ratepayers was overruled and outvoted with the Northampton Councillors voting for $1.64 /sq.m.. WHY?

More to the naive inconsistent decisions constantly made by this Council, lead for 10 years by President George Parker is that in Feb. 2006 Council leased land 10k out of Kalbarri to a company whose services are absolutely vital to our tourist industry for $5.00 /sq.m. while Cr Ron Allen pays $1.64 /sq.m. (The Motion to charge others $5 /sq.m. was moved by Cr. Ron Allen)

Just another example of Council mismanaging one of the communities assets, setting a bad example and an undesirable precedent.

Your comments can be emailed to the KT and published if permission given.
To be continued.


Lot 587   (third Lot)

Crown Reserve 3743? (Council Agenda May 2002) or Reserve 37465? (Council agenda June 2005) or Reserve 37435? (State Land Services Nov 2006) is Lot 587 Grey St. Kalbarri and is leased by Council to Cr. Ron Allen to be utilised as Caravan and Camping Amenities, part of his Murchison Caravan Park. But as previously reported on page '3 Kalbarri', Item 3 "Inappropriate/illegal use of Crown Land" advice received from DPI is that the building that occupies this site, (Black Rock Cafe) owned by Cr. Ron Allen, has progressively expanded over the years to the point that it no longer conform to the current tenure.
Lot 587 is 1,813 sq.m. Ratepayers receive $14,507 ($8.00 sq.m.) p/a (2007) from the Council lease of Lot 587 to Cr Ron Allen.


KT Comment/Opinion;
Question
; Why has Council considered this privately owned and operated public restaurant to be a Caravan and Camping Amenity?  Is it a case of looking after members of their "Boys Club"?
It was estimated from information received from one of the owners of the business who currently occupy the building on Lot 587, they supposedly pay $1,000 per week rent on a sublease. This would give the landlord (Cr. Ron Allen) a gross profit of $37,493 per year. This just doesn't seem to be the rightful/lawful use of Crown Land?  Another example of how Crown Land can provide one person (in this case a Shire Councillor) a good income? There has been no further action taken by DPI (State Land Services) on this breach of public trust.

To summarize the benefit/dollar value of being lucky enough to be elected as a Shire Councillor, a position of community trust and receiving the full support of your Council mates, one can make a good income from leasing and then subleasing Crown Land in Kalbarri. In this case the KT believe the gross income generated from leasing Lots 587, 588 and 589 from the Northhampton Shire Council conservatively totals $158,000 p/a.
It is blatantly obvious that this Council under the leadership of President George Parker has not utilise these assets for the full benefit of the community. Adding more to the mismanagement of this Council.
 
Just another example of Council mismanaging one of the communities assets, setting a bad example and an undesirable precedent.  But if you are just a ratepaying peasant you can expect a very different Council decision.


SHIRE OF NORTHAMPTON Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of Council held at the Northampton Council Chamber, Hampton Road, Northampton on the 20th November 2009
11.10.10 ILLEGAL STRUCTURES RESERVE 12996 - QUAD BIKE COMPOUNDS (ITEM 6.5.10)
Moved Cr Booth, seconded Cr Parker
1. That Council reiterates its previous decision and the compounds and the items being housed within them be removed from Reserve 12996 immediately;

2. The applicant be advised that if Council were to allow the current compounds to remain then a precedent would be set allowing other structures to also be located on the land which could encourage other illegal structures which will have to be removed and legally this is the current situation with the existing structures.

CARRIED 9/0


The KT will continue to monitor this and inform our readers of the outcome.

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We have movement!   20.01.09

Council Agenda Item 17.02.08
Item 6.5.7 Lot 588 Grey St. Kalbarri

The lessee (Cr. Ron Allen) is now seeking advice in regards to expanding the use of the site to allow for chalets/cabins.


Extract Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of Council held at the Northampton Council Chamber, Hampton Road Northampton on Wednesday 17th December 2008, reproduced for public education/information.

12.10.7 LOT 588 GREY STREET, KALBARRI (ITEM 6.5.7)
Moved Cr. L. Parker, seconded Cr. P. Gliddon
That Council request the Minister for Lands to amend the use definition for the following Crown Reserves;
Crown Reserve 37445, being Lot 588 Grey Street Kalbarri from "Caravan and Camping Amenities" to "Caravan Park":
Crown Reserve 37435, being Lot 587 Grey Street Kalbarri from "Caravan and Camping Amenities" to "Café/Restaurant".

CARRIED 6/0

Cr G Wilson Deputy President Northampton Ward
Cr V Maskrey Northampton Ward
Cr O Simkin Northampton Ward
Cr E Simkin Northampton Ward        visit Councillors  link
Cr P Gliddon Kalbarri Ward
Cr L Parker Kalbarri Ward

As previously reported, Lot 588 and Lot 587 are under a 21 year lease to Councillor Ron Allen.

(Only six out of the ten Councillors were present at this meeting.)


KT Comment/Opinion.
We ask our readers to take note of the two Councillors who Moved and Seconded the above Motion. Follow the link to view Councillors Parker & Gliddon.
You will see they are the same two Councillors who were exposed acting contrary to the public's interest, voting in a joint attempt to discount the Valuer General's valuation on Crown Land (Lot 588) leased to Cr. Ron Allen.
They are both known supporters of Cr. Ron Allen, the Councillor who has been allowed to further develop Crown Land breaching the land tenure definition set by the State on both these lots.
(ref link  3 Kalbarri  Item 3/.)

It now appears that the Northhampton Shire Council lead by the President Cr. George Parker and administered by CEO Garry Keeffe, is trying to cover its tracks and save face by asking the Minister of Lands (DPI) to amend their use definition rather than attend to their stuff-up/incompetence by demanding their "Boys Club" mate Cr. Ron Allen comply with the Regulations/Law of the Land like everyone else is expected to do without seeking special privileges/treatment.

It is considered appropriate to now direct our readers attention to the phrase 'ACTING CORRUPTLY ' and its definition as described in chapter 5 Councillor.

Maybe this is what is meant by the terms 'legalised conspiracy' and 'legalised corruption'? You be the judge.

It is difficult to comprehend why this Council would continue to allow this Caravan Park to expand when it is situated in the middle of Town, a Town that has an amazing amount of potential as a premier Tourist Town, needing all the central land for future high profile development, the sort of development that will attract more overseas visitors, developing Caravan Parks further to the fringe in more congenial surroundings.

The Question;  Will the Minister of Lands (Brendan Grylls) be prepared to show support for the lessee, (Cr. Ron Allen) the only person seen by the KT to benefit from such a Council request. Or perhaps the Minister will have the knowledge and wisdom and stand firm, not wanting to create an undesirable precedent by setting aside a public reserve for a privately owned commercial purpose and inform this Council to get its house in order, manage Crown Land appropriately for the benefit of all in the Community and like other Councils comply with the State's Land Tenure Rules, Regulations and Laws?

The KT believe that the best interest of our community would be served by the sale in freehold of these two blocks of Crown Land as our Community/Ratepayers have never received the true benefit from their 21 year lease to a Shire Councillor. It should be noted that the local government will always have the first option to purchase the land. This could be done in the way of revenue sharing with the State. This would benefit the ratepayers far greater than trusting this Council to continue with a 21 year lease to one of their own.

The KT is grateful that this is finally being investigated and now see it as a test of integrity for both the Minister of Lands, DLA and the Shire of Northampton Councillors.
We appeal to the Minister and his Department (DLA) to please, don't rub salt into the wound by allowing yourself to be manipulated by this unscrupulous Council, giving into their request to change the tenure to suit what has already been unlawfully allowed. This Council request if granted will effectively help a Councillor to further develop Crown Land for his own benefit, land that should rightfully benefit the community and in a way far greater than it has in the past. We believe these questionable lease decision made by this naive Council has cost our community dearly over the past 20 to 30 years.

Just another example of poor governance with this Council mismanaging two of the communities assets, setting a bad example and an undesirable precedent.

Whatever the outcome the KT will report it on this page of our website.

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This letter was faxed to the Minister of Lands on the 20th February 2009

Honourable Brendon Grylls MLA
Minister for Regional Development; Lands; Minister Assisting the Minister for State Development; Minister Assisting the Minister for Transport
9th Floor, Dumas House, 2 Havelock Street, WEST PERTH WA 6005
Phone: 9213 7000
Fax: 9213 7001
e-Mail: Minister.Grylls@dpc.wa.gov.au mailto:Minister.Grylls@dpc.wa.gov.au

Dear Minister
As a tax payer of Western Australia and a ratepayer of Kalbarri WA I wish to register in the strongest way possible my objection to a request sent to you and your department from the Shire of Northampton wanting to change the tenure/use definition of Lots 588 and 587 Grey Street Kalbarri, being Crown Reserves 37445 and 37435 to suit/comply with what has already been inappropriately and possibly illegally constructed on these 2 lots of Crown Land.
Copy Minutes of Council Meeting;
"12.10.7 LOT 588 GREY STREET, KALBARRI (ITEM 6.5.7)
Moved Cr. L. Parker, seconded Cr. P. Gliddin
That Council request the Minister for Lands to amend the use definition for the following Crown Reserves;
Crown Reserve 37445, being Lot 588 Grey Street Kalbarri from "Caravan and Camping Amenities" to "Caravan Park":
Crown Reserve 37435, being Lot 587 Grey Street Kalbarri from "Caravan and Camping Amenities" to "Café/Restaurant".     CARRIED 6/0"

Is this an attempt to cover up a Council's past mismanagement of Crown Land?
In my and others opinion much of the Crown Land leased by this inept Shire Council has been mismanaged over many years, especially the 3 lots Council leases to one of their Councillors. In my opinion these leases have deprived us the ratepayers of much needed funds, funds that could have been used to benefit all in our community, like the sealing of car parks, sealing of our boat ramps, footpaths, road maintenance, curbing, more for the care of our youth and elderly etc etc.
One question you may be able to answer for us is why would the future planning of a premier tourist destination allow the expansion of a caravan park that is situated in the middle of the town?
Would you please inform me of any good, logical and justifiable reason to grant this request?
The objections to this request of our Council are as listed in page 2, chapter '4 Council' on the www.kalbarritruth.com http://www.kalbarritruth.com web site.

I look forward to your advice.

Kind regards

-----------------End of letter------------------

The Ministers answer to the above correspondence will also be posted on this page.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Received a response to the above correspondence from the Minister of Lands (Hon Brendon Grylls) 30.4.09.
Which in part reads;

"With respect to Reserve 37435 over Lot 587, approval to change the purpose of this reserve was declined. It has been acknowledged that current use of this reserve is not consistent with the reserve purpose and consideration is being given to sale of this site by the State..

Both reserves were created in the 1980's and there is no proposal to provide further land for the expansion of this caravan park. I understand the current planning being considered for the future development of the town has identified potential caravan sites on the outskirts of the town."



KT Comment/Opinion
It may be time for both Cr. Lou Parker and Cr. Pat Gliddon to take a good look at their actions concerning the administration and management of Crown Land in Kalbarri. Their attempts to reduce the financial return to the ratepayers for Council leased land is well documented and now they are seen to use their positions of trust to move and second a motion to bring a benefit to one of their own. Acting contrary to the public interest.
Once again we direct our readers attention to the phrase 
ACTING CORRUPTLY and its meaning as set out in chapter '5 Councillor'.


The KT thank the Minister for his timely advice.
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9/        Councillor Advice Program (investigation)

Copies of Council Minutes are presented for public education and to help explain why this was considered necessary by Council and how the process works.

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of Council held at the Northampton Council
Chambers, Hampton Road, Northampton on, Friday 17th December 2004


12.17.5 CR PARKER - COUNCIL ISSUES
Councillor George Parker expressed extreme concern in regards to current disharmony within Council and Staff and to address this issue Council should partake in the Councillor Advice Program which is conducted by the Department of Local Government and Regional Development to address the concern's being raised.

Moved Cr E Simkin, seconded Cr Ash
That Council engage the services of the Department of Local Government and Regional Development to conduct the Councillor Advice Program at the Shire of Northampton.

CARRIED 10/1

Cr Kramer wished for his vote to be recorded against the motion.

-------------------------------END of Minutes---------------------------------

Councillor Kramer voted against this motion believing if there was a problem of disharmony within the Council then as professional adults it could be resolved in Council without acting like school children and calling in the Head Master. There was a cost to the Ratepayers that also caused him concern.

In January 05 Council was advised that Departmental Officer Mr John Gilfellon and Councillor Terry Ginnane, Shire President of the Shire of Boyup Brook would be conducting the investigation.

The "Program" included individual interviews with Councillors and staff. The Dep of Local Government and Regional Development (DLGRD) also requested that all Councillors complete a questionnaire before the interviews.

The questionnaire was an 8 page document comprising 24 questions asking for the personal opinion of Councillors as to problems, if any they were experiencing in Council. When completed they were handed in to Gilfellon some time before the interviews were to take place.

In an effort to fully explain himself and give a true opinion Cr. Kramer chose to supply his answers to all the questions on separate sheets (7).

So with prior knowledge of all the Councillors personal opinions Gilfellon and Ginnane then held the private and confidential interviews.

During his interview Cr Kramer's records recall Mr Gilfellon asking him why he thought the other Councillors hated his guts. Mr Gilfellon also told Cr Kramer some of the things that was being said against him by the other Councillors and in particular the CEO.

Mr Gilfellon went on to say that Cr Kramer would need to join their boys club because in Local Government the majority is the thing that rules and if he didn't have the vote of the other councillors he could be "sent to Coventry" and prevented from doing good for his community.

Cr Kramer's records also recall Mr Gilfellon telling him he would be presenting his report in 2 very different ways, one in a verbal address to Council and the other in written form to go on record. How true was this to be!

Before his address to Council Gilfellon and Ginnane sat in the gallery and listened to how Council ran their meeting.


Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of Council held at the Northampton Council
Chambers, Hampton Road, Northampton on Thursday 17th February 2005


2.16.2 COUNCIL ADVICE PROGRAM
The President invited Mr John Gifellon from the Department of Local Government and Councillor Terry Ginnane, Shire President of the Shire of Boyup Brook to address Council on their findings after conducting the Council Advice Program.

Moved Cr O Simkin, seconded Cr Hulme
That Council proceed "in-camera" due to this matter dealing with the personal affairs of Councillors at 3.42pm.

CARRIED 10/0

Council held length discussion in regards to the Council Advice Program.

Cr Stock-Standen left the meeting at 4.46pm.
Cr Wilson left the meeting at 4.54pm.
Cr Wilson entered the meeting at 4.56pm.

Moved Cr O Simkin, seconded Cr Wilson
That Council no longer proceed "in-camera" at 5.10pm.

CARRIED 9/0
-------------------------------END of minutes-------------------------------

The "in camera" vale of secrecy hides any potential embarrassment or wrongdoing by Council.

Yes Mr Gilfellon was true to his word. In his verbal address to Council he said
"Council has taken its eye off the ball. Council has taken its eye off the ball and put it on Cr Kramer. It is time to get your eye back on the ball".  He also commented on the rude and abrupt way the CEO Garry Keeffe addressed Cr. Kramer on occasions. His written report reflected none of this.
In the written report much was said about Cr Kramer's "Councilors Report" presented in the local media. ('Don't tell anyone what we are up to?') Cr. Kramer's request for information was also deemed a problem. ('As a new Councillor you are not to ask questions?')
This report is a very well written "politically correct" public document that is truly worth reading. KT make it available upon request.

At a Council Meeting following this investigation Cr Kramer tabled a full copy of his completed questionnaire for all Councillors to read, asking them if the had the courage to follow his example and make their reports open for all to read as well. Complete silence came over the room, as expected there was the usual lack of courage, not one took up the challenge. The KT make Cr Kramer's completed questionnaire available to anyone who is interested in reading it.


KT Comment/Opinion
To some this event showed this Council up for what it truly was, a bunch of back stabbing bullies that hunt in a pack, being led by President George Parker and administered by CEO Garry Keeffe. It was always expected that Cr Kramer would be their sacrificial lamb.
Gilfellon and his department were to ensure that Council continued doing their job no matter what, it was not their concern of how professional or how ethical it was being done.
Later a letter was sent to Gilfellon, part of which read, "What avenues are available to an elected member if they find the pressure being placed upon them when working as a councillor in Local Government effects their health and well-being?" His written response to the question was "compromise your conduct or resign."
Gilfellon publicly referred to Cr Kramer as a 'problem councillor'.

For Kramer it just helped confirm his thoughts about the selfish, cowardice and egotistical part of our Local Government's demeanour. Letters were sent from a Councillor to management and senior staff of the Dept. Local Government and Regional Development asking why. There was never a reply to any of this correspondence.

With the help of "Freedom of Information" (FOI) laws the KT look forward to accessing all the other completed questionnaires from this investigation, it's just a matter of time.

To be continued.
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10/        Bill Mitchell / WALGA.

Bill Mitchell - President of WALGA.   Link to Visit Bill   (sorry Bill has done a runner)

WALGA, West Australian Local Government Association.

The aim of this subchapter is to educate the public as to the way the West Australian Local Government Association cult protects itself and its members and what lengths they are willing to go to to discredit those who question their authority.

It began with our State Government wanting a change to the way Local Government elections were run from 'first past the post' to 'proportional preferential'. WALGA and its cronies campaigned against any change.

Cr Kramer gave a personal opinion on this subject in one of his monthly "Councillors Report", (Nov. 2006) in the Kalbarri Town Talk, a small local volunteer run and printed monthly magazine. His article supported changing the voting system to proportional preferential. As we now know the system did in fact change.

In the article Kramer wrote;
"Changes to our Local Gov Election System
Hopefully we will get to say good-bye to the antiquated Local Government first-past-the-post election system, ending the legal manipulation of voting results just like what I believe happened at our well documented 'one tick election" in 2005.
Proportional Preferential Voting is a system that calls for the numbering of preferred candidates by electors in your order of preference on the ballot paper, no more ticks etc. and to some extent no more manipulation of the blind obedient. The new system will bring WA into line with I believe all other states and in my opinion is the most fairest."

Cr Kramer went on to say;  "You may notice that to date the ones who are opposing the change are some of the administration/heads of what I call the Local Government Cult, those who live off the rates and taxes of others and are seen to produce very little for the people, and who can ill afford to have a process in place that would make them more open and accountable. I am informed that one of these associations is about to spend $750,000 of rate/taxpayers money to campaign against this change."

Kalbarri is a small coastal town with a population of about 1,500 residents, miles from the city of Perth with a Shire Councillor giving his personal opinion in the local rag on a subject that would effect the residents and ratepayers at election time. The residents and ratepayers he was elected to represent and keep informed.

In the January 2007 Town Talk there appeared a "Letter to the Editor" from a Mr Bill Mitchell, President of the WALGA no less, responding to Kramer's personal opinion as shown above. Bill's response will show the arrogance of this person as he tries to defame another Shire Councillor. You see Bill Mitchell is also a Shire Councillor, his shire is the Shire of Murchison which has just over 100 electors.
Why was the President of WALGA encouraged to respond?

Representing WALGA, President/Councillor Bill Mitchell writes, in part;

"Western Australia Local Government Association
15 Altone Street, West Perth.
Dear Editor,
I write in response to the 'news letter' by Cr. Barry Kramer in the November edition. Cr. Kramer's position reminded me of the story of a man driving down the highway who gets a call on his mobile phone from his mother warning him to "be careful son, they are saying on the radio that there is a car driving on the wrong side of the road."  To which the man replies: "What do you mean - A car? I've past dozens."
Cr. Kramer's position is very much that of the driver. He is completely out of step with the overwhelming majority of Councillors in Western Australia but still believes he is correct. Just as with the driver, even irrefutable evidence contrary to his position is not likely to change his mind. However I believe your readers, at least, deserve the facts."
His invective attack continued over another 8 paragraphs. He signed it "Yours sincerely Cr. Bill Mitchell. President."
 
In his attempt to discredit and humiliate, Mitchell's 'Letter to the Editor' mentions the name Cr. Kramer no less than 13 times. This encouraged 2 Kalbarri ratepayers to write a response condemning him for his arrogance. Cr. Kramer also responded in the following issue of the Town Talk which in part read;
"Not being one of Bill's sheep and having an opinion and a mind of my own, in this case I am happy to be guided by something JFK (John F Kennedy) once said, that is; 'Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth'
Leadership requires humility and courage, none of which I believe was shown in Bill Mitchell's letter to the editor. Isn't Local Government there to serve the people not rule, dictate or humiliate?
I say to Bill as I have to other members of the Local Gov cult; ' Keep it coming, because none of you have got what it takes to ever break my spirit."


KT Comment/Opinion.
The LG method of voting has since changed to 'Proportional Preferential' as Cr Kramer had hoped. Cr Bill Mitchell and his cronies were dragged kicking and screaming from the back of their cave. The unprincipled actions and comments of Cr Bill Mitchell made on behalf of WALGA in a way meant to cause public humiliation to a fellow Councillor goes to show the arrogance and control these people use as weapons to protect, justify and keep their so called positions of influence. The KT believe there are many good people working in Local Government but they are inevitably tarnished by those who misuse their positions of trust by acting in an manner contrary to the publics interest.

There is a common belief as to how Cr. Bill Mitchell, President of WALGA came to read that particular Kalbarri Town Talk. It revolves around someone who lacks the courage to do their own dirty work.

As usual a full copy of any of the correspondence referred to in this section is available on request. Including an interesting extract of State Parliament Hansard.

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11/        Fuel Claim.        November 2004.

This information is presented to again show just how uneducated, naive and vindictive some in Local Government can be. Please note, this deals with a principal, it is not about money!

As stated in the opening page of our web site, you don't need any qualifications to be elected as a Shire Councillor, the 'village idiot' could be elected to your Council, which is a legislative authority.

The "fuel claim" saga began with several Councillors offering to attend a conference to see how other Australian coastal towns are coping with the phenomena that is called "The Sea Change", a name given to the mass movement of people wanting to live on or near the coast, in places like Kalbarri. This story tells of how the Shire of Northampton Councillors and the CEO worked to discredit Cr Kramer by officially accusing him of cheating on a claim for personal expenses, expenses he incurred while using his private vehicle to travel from Kalbarri to Mandurah return to attend the conference representing Council, a distance of 1,302 km.

An extract from Council Minutes;

Moved Cr Wilson, seconded Cr Kramer
That the Chief Executive Officer, Principal Planner, Cr Kramer, Cr Ash and Cr Allen be authorised to attend the WA Sea Change Conference to be held in Rockingham Western Australia. (Accommodation in Mandurah WA)
CARRIED 11/0


Cr Kramer then received a fax from the CEO Garry Keeffe confirming times and accommodation arrangements. This fax also confirmed the reimbursement of fuel costs for own vehicle use while traveling to and from the conference. Believing the CEO to be a man of his word all fuel receipts were retained and handed in in good faith after the conference, the total amounted to $285.72. One receipt even showed Cr Kramer had used a Coles Fuel Vouchers to get a discount for Council.

The next thing came in the form of correspondence from Garry Keeffe, CEO asking Cr Kramer to justify his claim with more than just receipts. This was seen to be questioning Kramer's honesty and his integrity. Completely out of line, as it is the Presidents job if a Councillor is to be questioned about such matters, not the paid staff.

KT records show that Kramer ignored this request from the CEO, leaving it up to his fellow Councillors to pass judgement on his integrity, a major mistake! The following tells part of the story of how Kramer was stabbed in the back by the CEO and members of the Shire of Northampton Council. Please note that before Council voted to cheat and discredit Cr Kramer they first moved a motion that would have effectively paid him $420.60 for fuel expenses for the same trip. So one would logically think nothing sinister or suspicious about a claim for $285.72 to travel 1,302 kilometres? (RAC web site)

The minutes of the Council Meeting will help tell the story, as follows.
For readers information Policy 4.3 allows for $0.589 cents per kilometre as confirmed in correspondence 4.1.1 (08517) from the CEO to Cr Kramer. That facilitates a potential claim of $766.87 for private vehicle usage to travel the 1,302 km Kalbarri to Mandurah return. (1,302 km x $0.589 = $766.87)

An extract from Council Minutes, after the Mandurah conference and just before making a decision on Kramer's claim for fuel costs;
11.10.2 TRAVEL EXPENSES (ITEM 6.5.2)

Moved Cr Kramer, seconded Cr Wilson
That Council replace Policy 4.3 with the below;

"When Councillors utilise their personal vehicle to attend an approved conference/seminar/meeting on behalf of the Council, they are eligible to claim for reimbursement a rate of 30 cents per kilometre via the most direct route as determined by latest mapping data with an additional 100km of travel provided for use within the metropolitan area to allow for travel to and from place residing to the seminar/meeting/conference venue within the metropolitan region.
Councillors when attending an approved conference/seminar/meeting on behalf of Council within the metropolitan region, that they be given the option of a return airflight in preference to utilising their personal vehicle.
Council will not pay flight and other associated costs for the Councillors family members to travel at the same time.
 An approved conference/seminar/meeting is one that is either approved by Council or the Shire President and Chief Executive Officer."
CARRIED 9/0        ------end of minutes------

After that it then came time for Council to investigate/debate Cr Kramer's claim for $285.72 to travel the 1,302 km. as follows;

"Cr Kramer declared a financial interest as a claimant to a travel claim before Council and therefore may incur a financial loss or gain from Council's decision and left the meeting at 11.31am.

Moved Cr Wilson, seconded Cr E Simkin
That Council proceed in camera.
CARRIED 8/0
Council proceeded into camera at 11.35am.
Moved Cr Gliddon, seconded Cr Ash
That Council no longer proceed in camera.
CARRIED 8/0
Council came out of camera at 11.40am."

Is it apparent to our readers why this Council goes "in camera"?

"Moved Cr Gliddon, seconded Cr Wilson
That Council reimburse Cr Kramer $185.72 for his fuel costs to the Sea Change Conference", traveling 1,302 km from Kalbarri to Mandurah return at a rate of 14 cents per km. (italics mine)
CARRIED 8/0
Cr Kramer entered the meeting at 11.40am and was told of Councill's decision to reduce his fuel claim by exactly $100. This alone begs the question. Did this Council do an honest calculation to arrive at the $100 or was it just a show of spite? KT asks our readers to take note of the Councillor who moved the motion to reduce the claim. As you can see it took Council just 11 minutes to put on public record that they judged and found guilty Cr Barry Kramer of trying to cheat the system by over stating the amount of fuel he used while voluntarily working as a Shire Councillor, attending a conference on behalf of Council to better serve the community.

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