CCC: Lord Mayor `deliberately’ did not disclose trip to Beijing Olympics

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi
Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi

LORD Mayor Lisa Scaffidi says she is “deeply apologetic” for not complying with the Local Government Act but she will continue in her role despite findings of misconduct by the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC).

The CCC found Ms Scaffidi “signally failed” her duties by not disclosing gifts and travel in the financial year ending 2009.

The CCC released a report that found Ms Scaffidi made a “deliberate decision” not to disclose a $36,826 (USD) hospitality package of flights, accommodation and tickets offered by BHP Billiton to the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

In a statement, Ms Scaffidi said former City of Perth chief executive Frank Edwards supported her decision to accept the invitation and she had a problem with suggestions she hid the invitation and trip.

“In fact quite the contrary I made a number of public statements to that effect,” she said.

“I’m here to serve the interests of the City and that was the purpose at all times of the travel I have undertaken.”

Ms Scaffidi said she would “absolutely” do the same thing again because her actions were “in the line of duty”.

“As a result, I am acutely aware of the relevant provisions of the Local Government Act and the need to comply with the law,” she said.

Ms Scaffidi said she heard about the report’s release through media.

“We were all aware it was a cloud over my head.

“I am also relieved no findings of corruption have been made in respect to my conduct and no recommendations have been made in the report.”

The CCC report said Ms Scaffidi failed to record prohibited gifts from BHP, including a hospitality package to the 2009 Leeuwin concert and accommodation from property investment company Hawaiian Investments Pty Ltd.

The report found Ms Scaffidi and her husband accepted a $1093.50 three-night stay at Cable Beach Club Resort from Hawaiian Investments in August 2008 and did not declare it on the annual register.

According to the CCC, Ms Scaffidi said her gift register was up to date on January 15, 2009 and October 16 2009, although there was no record of the Olympics trip, Broome accommodation or Leeuwin concert.

Under the Local Government Act, a prohibited gift was any gift valued at more than $300, or from a person seeking, or someone reasonably believed to be intending an activity involving local government discretion.

City of Perth chief executive Gary Stevenson said the City was not in a position to comment on the CCC report at this time.