Claremont Mayor says all levels of government ‘tainted’ by Perth Lord Mayor’s refusal to step down

City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi.
City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi.

CLAREMONT Mayor Jock Barker says all levels of government have been “tainted” by Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi not stepping down while she faces 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 Guardian Express.

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

Claremont councillors have a self-imposed code not to accept gifts, and an online gifts register for any that are.

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.

“And what the State Government is failing to understand is that there is collateral damage to them 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 the treatments of Ms Scaffidi and Cr Bradley were fair, 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, and the Department of Local Government assessed all complaints according to its Compliance Framework and the Local Government Act.

WALGA runs and promotes ethics courses for councillors, but a spokeswoman said there would be no comment on any specific situation faced by a member council or councillor.