Compliance Matters

Published on Friday, 5 May 2023 at 12:00:00 AM

The Shire of Esperance takes its ethical responsibilities seriously, and is proud to administer its general and statutory responsibilities in a transparent and fair manner in the interest of public health, safety, and amenity.

The Compliance and Enforcement Policy applies to the Shire’s compliance responsibilities with respect to 15 State Government Acts, subsidiary legislation and regulations made under those Acts, and the Shire’s Local Laws. These cover building, planning and development, bush fires, caravan and camping, companion animals, cemeteries, food and public health.

The Shire Compliance and Enforcement Policy was endorsed by Council in March 2022, formalising previous processes. The objective of the Policy is to enable a common practice on compliance and enforcement actions by:

  • ensuring a consistent and proportionate approach to compliance and enforcement related matters;
  • providing transparency, applying procedural fairness and upholding natural justice for all compliance and enforcement related matters;
  • providing an educational, cooperative and collaborative process, aimed at achieving voluntary compliance; and
  • guiding decision-making processes and subsequent actions.

When a compliance matter is bought to the Shire’s attention all efforts are made to work with the respondent to fix the issue and avoid enforcement action. More often than not, compliance matters are worked out before any enforcement action is taken.

If a member of the public chooses to refer a matter to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT), the Shire has an obligation to defend its case, and a responsibility to engage professional representation to assist and support staff. Even minor cases submitted to the SAT can incur legal fees between $10,000 - $20,000, plus substantial staff time. 

Prosecution is always the last option for any compliance matter, and one the Shire doesn’t take lightly. 

All WA local governments, including the Shire of Esperance, are audited annually on Interim and End of Financial Year. Every 3 years the Shire is audited on processes, and every 4 years on Financial Systems & Procedures. These audits are overseen by the Office of the Auditor General, and are carried out by independent third parties. All Audits are publicly available, and demonstrate the Esperance community can safely place their confidence in the Shire.  In the precise language of auditing, they are free from material mis-statement – meaning the Office of the Auditor General has given the Shire the nod of approval!

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5 May 2023

Relating Documents - Compliance and Enforcement Policy

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