Ex­penses claim re­fused

Guardian Express - - NEWS - Jes­sica War­riner

PERTH’s Deputy Lord Mayor Jemma Green will not be re­im­bursed for le­gal ex­penses af­ter com­mis­sion­ers knocked back the re­quest at De­cem­ber’s meet­ing.

The City re­ceived two ap­pli­ca­tions from Ms Green in Novem­ber for re­im­burse­ment, seek­ing $14,155.35 in to­tal.

The le­gal ex­penses re­lated to com­plaints made against Ms Green to the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Stan­dards Panel, where she was found to have not com­mit­ted al­leged mi­nor breaches of rules of con­duct.

The City’s gov­er­nance depart­ment said the ap­pli­ca­tion did not meet the cri­te­ria for re­im­burse­ment and costs in­curred in re­la­tion to a Stan­dards Panel were not ‘le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion costs’.

Chair com­mis­sioner Eric Lumsden said he had wres­tled with the is­sue.

“The Stan­dards Panel is meant to be non-le­gal,” he said.

“If a per­son wants to seek in­de­pen­dent le­gal ad­vice, it’s their de­ci­sion.”

Deputy chair com­mis­sioner Gaye McMath said she had some em­pa­thy for the re­quest but with the ad­vice pro­vided by gov­er­nance, it was ap­pro­pri­ate to refuse it.

Point Fraser park­ing in East Perth was also a hot topic at the coun­cil meet­ing, with com­mis­sioner An­drew Ham­mond la­belling it a “wicked prob­lem”.

The of­fi­cer rec­om­men­da­tion was to de­com­mis­sion the area’s over­flow carpark af­ter ad­vice from the Depart­ment of Trans­port and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­sid­er­a­tions on the re­serve site.

City Fore­shore In­vest­ments’ Neil Irvine said he was wast­ing his time pro­mot­ing the site if there was not enough park­ing.

“If we don’t fix this prob­lem, I might as well just shut the doors and let it sit there,” he said.

Mr Lumsden said he was con­cerned about any as­sump­tion an over­flow carpark could be per­ma­nent.

The com­mis­sion­ers voted to seek im­me­di­ate ad­vice from gov­ern­ment agen­cies about the area’s en­vi­ron­men­tal in­tegrity, along with ap­prov­ing a three-month trial for re­vised fees at Point Fraser carpark and de­vel­op­ing a new carpark man­age­ment plan.

Two Perth meet­ings are sched­uled for next week on Tues­day, Jan­uary 15, in­clud­ing the an­nual gen­eral meet­ing for ratepay­ers and stake­hold­ers at 5.30pm.

A spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing is also sched­uled to take place that evening.

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