City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi wins appeal

Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi.
Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi.

PERTH Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi has won her court appeal against 26 adverse State Administrative Tribunal findings that she breached her gift disclosure obligations.

The SAT found she breached the Local Government Act 45 times by not disclosing third party-funded travel and accommodation, including a $US24,000 ($A33,600) BHP Billiton-funded package to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which she admitted along with four other breaches.

The led to her being disqualified from office for 18 months, and she stood down from her duties pending the outcome.

Ms Scaffidi challenged 26 of the adverse findings in the WA Court of Appeal and on Friday, the full bench of judges found all of them were, in fact, not breaches.

She didn’t challenge 19 of the breaches.

The matter will now return to a differently-constituted SAT, and the court refused leave to appeal against the penalty as that is now unnecessary.

At the appeal hearing last month, her barrister Steven Penglis argued the SAT wrongly deemed her likely to reoffend because her “oversights” were made in annual returns and a new continuous disclosure regime was easier to comply with.

Mr Penglis also said the tribunal also hadn’t considered the fact her last breach was committed three years ago and suggested her position as lord mayor had been given more attention than it deserved.

George Tannin, counsel for the the state government, said it was entirely proper her senior role had been taken into consideration.

“The higher the level of seniority, the higher the level of accountability,” Mr Tannin said.

He pointed out she had not challenged the tribunal’s finding that she acted with “gross carelessness bordering on recklessness”.