City of Perth council votes to continue ‘blackout’ of two newspapers

PERTH council has voted to continue the City’s media boycott of two local newspapers.

At Tuesday night’s council meeting, Councillor Reece Harley moved a motion that called on the City to explain why journalists from The Perth Voice and The Post had received no answers from the City for more than a year.

“A journalist from The Voice showed me 16 questions that were not answered. They were about operational matters and the City should be responding,” Cr Harley said.

Cr Harley said he met with the City’s chief executive and the relevant director without receiving a satisfying conclusion.

He said the practice of not responding was “not good enough”.

Cr Keith Yong asked Cr Harley why he asked the question as a motion, prompting Cr Harley to explain he had “met with and emailed the CEO and director” many times without a solution, and had offered to mediate a meeting between the two newspapers and City administration.

Cr Judy McEvoy claimed there was “never” anything positive in The Perth Voice.

Deputy Lord Mayor James Limnios said the City should be dealing with news outlets equally.

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi suggested the two newspapers no longer followed Press Council principles.

“I understand this is a political environment… we are all in public life until we can’t take the heat,” she said.

In closing, Cr Harley said as a “tier of government” the City “must respond to questions relevant to the business of the City”.

His motion was defeated 4-3, with Ms Scaffidi and Crs McEvoy, Keith Yong and Lily Chen voting against, while Crs Harley, Limnios and Jemma Green voted in favour.

Crs Janet Davidson and Jim Adamos were absent.