PERTH Deputy Lord Mayor James Limnios will not move a motion of no confidence in Lisa Scaffidi at the next council meeting, despite his calls for her to stand down.
Lord Mayor Scaffidi struck a defiant tone at her press conference on Thursday, challenging critics to move a motion of no confidence in her – a clear response to the statement from Cr Limnios that morning.
Cr Limnios said his “whole intention” was not to “lead the charge against Lisa Scaffidi, but to restore the people’s and the ratepayers’ confidence in the City of Perth”.
“I was the one who was defusing earlier attempts to move a motion of no confidence in Lisa earlier,” he said.
“The focus needs to be on restoring the public confidence in their local government.
“We have had this cloud over us for six months which has not allowed us to work properly. We are busy defending ourselves against negativity. No one can function properly like that.
“This is about integrity and doing what is best for the city,” he said.
Asked if an early election was preferable to Ms Scaffidi standing aside for an indefinite period while he acts in the position of Lord Mayor, Cr Limnios expressed doubts.
“I am not sure we can go to an early election, if we could the only way would be if the Lord Mayor resigned. What I am saying is if she believes she has done nothing wrong she should stand aside until the process is completed,” the Deputy Lord Mayor said.
“We have become the laughing stock of capital city local governments across Australia. My conscience won’t let me let this go on,” he said.
The Lord Mayor reiterated on Thursday that she would not step down, saying it was business as usual.
“I believe the City of Perth is functional, it is business as usual as far as the administration is concerned,” she said.
“Needless to say from the council’s perspective this is a distraction so I would urge the Department of Local Government to fast-track this process so we can put an end to what is now going on for over a year.”
Ms Scaffidi said she had not been contacted by Cr Limnios ahead of him releasing a statement nor had she received requests from him in the last two weeks to meet.
She said she believed the public still had confidence in her based on the “overwhelming” number of private messages she had received.
“I believe there is a strong support,” she said. “I’m not cocky about this process at all but I believe I have the support of councillors that understand fully what I am going through.”