Councillor in legal appeal

Talitha WolfeAlbany Advertiser

Denmark councillor Rob Whooley has appealed a Western Australian Industrial Relation Commission decision that the Shire of Denmark pay more than $40,000 after losing a legal case relating to the termination of his employment.

This is the second appeal against the decision, with the Shire itself also launching an appeal in April.

The commission decided the Shire of Denmark would pay Cr Whooley a final bill of $43,893.71 at the quantum hearing on April 19.

The commission found in January Cr Whooley had been unfairly dismissed in June, 2015 after former Shire chief executive Dale Stewart failed to consult the council before terminating his contract as Shire infrastructure director.

Cr Whooley had been in the role for more than nine years and was seeking payment for the remainder of a three-year contract that started in September, 2014.

According to Commissioner Damian Matthews, the damage bill is the remuneration not paid to Cr Whooley during the period he was dismissed.

However, Commissioner Matthews found Cr Whooley’s letter of resignation in October, 2015, allowing him to begin as a councillor, prevented a full payout. “The respondent (Shire) breached the contract of employment by not remunerating the claimant (Cr Whooley) in accordance with the contract from June 6, 2015 until October 19, 2015, when the claimant resigned,” he said.

“His damage is the remuneration not paid to him for that period minus the month of salary he was paid upon termination and any money he earned from other work in that period.”

A hearing date has not been set for either appeal, but Shire of Denmark chief executive Bill Parker expects the Shire’s appeal to be heard later this month or in August.

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