Guardian Express - - NEWS - By JU­LIAN WRIGHT

JAMES Limnios, act­ing Lord Mayor of the City of Perth, will push for free park­ing on ma­jor re­tail streets in the CBD.

Mr Limnios moved into the po­si­tion at mid­night on Thurs­day af­ter Lisa Scaf­fidi an­nounced she would step back from her du­ties, in an agree­ment she made with State So­lic­i­tors Of­fice and Depart­ment of Lo­cal Govern­ment pend­ing the out­come of her ap­peals against the State Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal (SAT).

Last Mon­day, the SAT dis­qual­i­fied Ms Scaf­fidi from hold­ing of­fice for 18 months af­ter it found she breached the Lo­cal Govern­ment Act 45 times by not declar­ing gifts and travel, to the value of more than $30,000.

But the Court of Ap­peal stayed the op­er­a­tion of the or­der made by the SAT.

Ms Scaf­fidi said on Twit­ter she stepped back to “put the in­ter­ests of the city of Perth be­fore my own” while her ex­pe­dited ap­peals were ad­dressed.

Ms Scaf­fidi will con­tinue to re­ceive her mon­e­tary al­lowance.

Speak­ing to in his first day as act­ing Lord Mayor on Fri­day, Mr Limnios said the day was spent meet­ing with the City’s top level staff and stake­hold­ers to make sure things “ran smoothly”.

He con­firmed he would work on free half-hour or hour park­ing to help struggling busi­nesses.

A sim­i­lar mo­tion put for­ward by coun­cil­lor Reece Har­ley was re­cently voted down by a ma­jor­ity, in­clud­ing Ms Scaf­fidi.

“One thing I want to do and hope to get over the line is free ini­tial park­ing on main re­tail streets,” he said. “Busi­nesses are struggling; why would peo­ple pay $5 in park­ing to buy a $2 pair of socks?

“We need to sup­port busi­nesses so they can grow and flour­ish.”

Mr Limnios re­flected on the event­ful week lead­ing up to him step­ping into the new role.

“It has been in­ter­est­ing to say the least,” he said.

“From now un­til Oc­to­ber 21, all I can do is man­age this ship and cre­ate har­mony and re­spect for the peo­ple who have been for­got­ten for the last two years – res­i­dents, ratepay­ers and stake­hold­ers.”

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