Mayor Kelly Howlett has welcomed another audit of the Port Hedland Visitor Centre’s books amid ongoing allegations she unlawfully took $10,000 from an account four years ago.
Ms Howlett has vehemently denied any impropriety while the centre was under her management before she resigned to contest the 2009 mayoral election.
She said she welcomed any positive action that may be taken to resolve the “supposed matters” and would assist the auditors where possible.
Former Port Hedland mayor and councillor Stan Martin has pursued Ms Howlett over the allegations for several years.
Prior to 2010, the visitor centre was funded by the Town of Port Hedland to the tune of $180,000 a year.
In an email to Mr Martin last week, Town chief executive Mal Osborne said the reconstruction of the PHVC’s accounts had taken an “exceptionally long time” but there was an issue with retrieving documentation.
He said the bulk of the information had only been made available to the Town’s auditors, UHY Haines Norton, in December.
“(Former Port Hedland Visitor Centre treasurer) Arnold (Carter) made that information available, but I am unclear as to why it wasn’t released earlier,” Mr Osborne told Mr Martin.
“Until such time as the auditors have completed their work, there is not much else that can be done … I am concerned at how long it has taken to complete this task.”
Mr Martin said he had provided a written report, the PHVC constitution, a bank statement and two previous audit reports to the council in 2010, but nothing had come of it.Mr Osborne said once the PHVC books had been reconstructed an independent management report and audited financial statement would be provided to council for deliberation.
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