Lumsden bows out over ill health

CITY of Perth chair commissioner Eric Lumdsen (pictured) is stepping down August 9 due to ill health.

Cmm’r Lumsden made an emotional announcement at the July 30 council meeting, saying it was in the best interests of his health and the city.

“It’s something I’ve been contemplating for some time as there’s been some conjecture due to my absence from council meetings and in particular some council functions. I have not been able to attend all of the council functions I would have wished to due to ongoing medical treatment.”

He’s been on leave for most of the first half of this year, but revealed he’d continued to be involved in council business during his treatment via text and phone calls.

Cmm’r Lumsden said his health is significantly improving, but his doctors have advised him to stand down.

He was overcome with emotion as he thanked fellow commissioners for their work: “I’d like to acknowledge the extreme efforts and dedication of other commissioners, especially deputy chair commissioner Gaye McMath, and commissioner Andrew Hammond,” who’d stepped outside their portfolios to shoulder the load.

Satisfied

“I leave the commission next Friday satisfied that during my time here, in conjunction with other commissioners, that I leave the city set for the next stage of reform to be carried out by the commission and the CEO.

“I have reluctantly put my health first,” he said, pausing to steel himself, “which I do so with a high degree of sadness. Thank you for your attention.”

Cmm’r Hammond offered “extreme and sincere thanks for your efforts, leadership, humour and knowledge as our chair. You did so not only in difficult personal circumstances with your illness, but also in very very difficult circumstances given the challenges the commissioners had to face in our early time.”

Local government minister David Templeman tweeted his thanks to Cmm’r Lumsden and wished him a speedy recovery. “He took on a huge challenge under difficult circumstances and has achieved significant progress towards restoring confidence in the city,” Mr Templeman said.

His replacement is likely to be announced in the next few weeks.

by DAVID BELL

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