Scaf­fidi scan­dal taints all: Mayor

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

CLARE­MONT Mayor Jock Barker says all lev­els of govern­ment have been “tainted” be­cause Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaf­fidi is not step­ping down while fac­ing al­le­ga­tions of 45 breaches of the Lo­cal Govern­ment Act.

“She’s taint­ing us all by stay­ing there, and she should have the con­fi­dence to stand down while the State Ad­min­is­tra­tive Tri­bunal makes a de­ci­sion,” Mr Barker told the Sub­urbs Weekly.

Mr Barker wants an ur­gent WA Lo­cal Govern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion meet­ing to ad­dress the cri­sis caused by a Crime and Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion re­port find­ing Ms Scaf­fidi failed to dis­close mul­ti­ple gifts and 33 travel trips ear­lier this month.

Clare­mont coun­cil­lors have a self­im­posed code not to ac­cept gifts and an on­line gifts regis­ter for any that are ac­cepted. Western

There is now wide­spread dis­quiet among western sub­urbs coun­cils about the State Govern­ment giv­ing the SAT the task of de­cid­ing Ms Scaf­fidi’s pun­ish­ment in a process that could go be­hind closed doors and last un­til the next State elec­tion.

Mr Barker said sev­eral mem­bers of the pub­lic told him all politi­cians “are the same”, im­ply­ing pos­si­ble non-eth­i­cal be­hav­iour, when they found out he was a mayor last week.

“And what the State Govern­ment is fail­ing to un­der­stand is that there is col­lat­eral dam­age to it too from the Scaf­fidi af­fair be­cause the pub­lic per­cep­tion is that all lev­els of govern­ment are the same,” he said.

Ms Scaf­fidi’s treat­ment by the Govern­ment is be­ing com­pared to pun­ish­ments from un­re­lated com­plaints about other coun­cils and coun­cil­lors, in­clud­ing the uncertainty faced by Cam­bridge coun­cil­lor Rod Bradley about al­legedly not declar­ing an in­ter­est in a land re­zon­ing last year.

Asked if Ms Scaf­fidi and Cr Bradley were be­ing treated fairly, a spokes­woman for Lo­cal Govern­ment Min­is­ter Tony Simp­son said it was de­cided that the SAT was the most ap­pro­pri­ate place to deal with al­le­ga­tions the Lord Mayor had com­mit­ted se­ri­ous breaches.

She said the Depart­ment of Lo­cal Govern­ment as­sessed all com­plaints ac­cord­ing to its Com­pli­ance Frame­work and the Lo­cal Govern­ment Act.

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