Shire chief dismissed

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Shire of Exmouth President Turk Shales and chief executive Bill Price.
Camera IconShire of Exmouth President Turk Shales and chief executive Bill Price. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr

Shire of Exmouth chief executive Bill Price has been summarily dismissed from his position after a closed special council meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Councillors unanimously voted to terminate Mr Price’s contract “effective immediately”, based on advice from Shire solicitors.

Keith Woodward, the Shire’s engineering services executive manager, was appointed acting chief executive on November 18 while Mr Price took indefinite leave and will remain in the role for the time being.

The chief executive’s dismissal follows last month’s Corruption and Crime Commission hearings into claims of serious misconduct at the Shire, which centred on the handling of a $1 million aquarium contract for the under-construction Ningaloo Centre.

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Mr Price, who was one of four senior officers questioned, admitted to having awarded a Perth-based company the aquarium contract without putting it out to tender and then “misled” councillors by recommending they engage the company when the contract had already been awarded.

He also admitted to several instances of misusing his Shire credit card.

Mr Price has been informed of the council’s decision.

Shire of Exmouth councillors remain subject to a show cause notice issued by Local Government Minister Paul Miles last Friday, which requires them to respond with 21 days explaining why they should not be suspended for up to six months and have to undergo training.

They are working on a response to the minister.

The Shire of Exmouth has been contacted for official comment.

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