Burnside CEO implements staff ban against councillor

Published on 27 May 2017

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Providing a proper and safe workplace for staff at the City of Burnside has led its Chief Executive Officer to implement a protocol banning an Elected Member for contacting them.

This follows a number of alleged threats and harassment by Councillor Lance Bagster to various staff members over many months.

City of Burnside Chief Executive Officer, Mr Paul Deb, said: "I have both a moral and legal obligation to protect all staff employed at the Council.

"On the basis of Councillor Bagster's statement that he has a 'target list', his continual reference to the film The Revenant and other matters, and consistent with my duty of care and due diligence under both the Local Government Act 1999 and the Work Health and Safety Act 2012, I - as Chief Executive Officer, in order to protect all staff that I have responsibility for and the organisation I lead, and following consultation with the City of Burnside Leadership Team - have chosen to address this issue by refusing to have all staff, except me, attend Council meetings in future," he said.

"Furthermore, in order to protect all staff that I have responsibility for and in accordance with my legal and moral obligations, I have invoked a protocol that eliminates staff contact with Cr Bagster except through an established channel of communication.

"This additional protocol will remain in place until I am satisfied that I can provide safe and healthy working conditions for all staff that I am responsible for.

"I am currently seeking advice from relevant authorities and reserve my right to invoke any further protocols regarding Councillor Bagster to protect all staff that I have responsibility for.

"The safety and well-being of staff is paramount to Council and I will do everything in my power to ensure they are working in the safest working environment possible."