Following a $7.2 million investigation into the former dysfunctional and scandal-ridden City of Perth council, barrister Tony Power in his June 2020 Report of the Inquiry into the City of Perth made several references to councillors and candidates using leases of premises they hardly used or did not use at all to appear eligible to stand for council.

“There also existed a practice for candidates and council members to … lease premises that they did not use, or hardly used, to be eligible to nominate as a candidate and hold office,” Mr Power said.

He said this undermined the intent of the Local Government Act.

Deputy Lord Mayor Sandy Anghie’s office entrance on 1 Altona Street in West Perth.

Deputy Lord Mayor Sandy Anghie’s office entrance on 1 Altona Street in West Perth.

Two months before the council elections, Mrs Anghie learned that a different office in Perth’s CBD – which she leased for her architecture business – was ruled ineligible. Without a new lease she would have been forced out of the mayoral race. That was also the case for two other council hopefuls.

“My legal advice was that, based on the terms of my agreement and the head lease, I was eligible to be on the electors’ roll and to nominate,” Mrs Anghie explained on September 8, ahead of the October 17 election.

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“Rather than engage in unnecessary legal argument, with uncertain time and cost, I entered into a lease for another space, which is useful for the time being with my work across the city.”

The lease for the Altona Street meeting room was signed in August.

The floor space around the meeting room in West Perth was recently leased by a resources company, which said it was waiting to be able to access the room.

When the Power report into the council was handed down in August, Local Government Minister David Templeman said new legislation was needed to prevent leases being misused.

“There’s a wake-up call in this report that clearly demonstrates those things should not happen,” he said.

Mrs Anghie told Nine News and WAtoday that the lease was legitimate and had been approved by the council. She would not answer questions about how often she had used the space.

“It’s my office,” she said. “I did use the space.”

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