I’m still feeling threatened: Mayor

Among the fallout following the court hearing involving Cr Aubrey and fellow councillor Nicholas Pazolli, where Magistrate Greg Smith found there was no future basis for the VRO to remain, the mayor also complained about a secret recording produced in court and criticised the Local Government Act for not providing requirements for councillors having a safe workplace.

Cr Aubrey also intends to take the issue of bullying further with Local Government Minister Tony Simpson.

Cr Pazzoli did not respond to our interview request last week.

Cr Aubrey said that he sought a VRO after a meeting with Cr Pazolli to discuss grievances turned sour.

The mayor claimed Cr Pazolli had threatened him, punched the table and used obscene language at the meeting.

But a secret audio recording of that meeting produced by Cr Pazolli’s lawyer and played to the court in evidence was found not to contain any threats being made to the mayor. The recording included the sound of something, presumably a table, being hit during heated conversation.

Last week, Cr Aubrey claimed that the audio recording had been edited and was not a complete recording of his meeting with Cr Pazolli, but police say access to the original recording would be needed to deal with Cr Aubrey’s concerns.

Cr Aubrey also said elected members were not bound by workplace safety legislation, nor did the Local Government Act ban councillors acting in a threatening manner.

‘We do have a code of conduct which is very weak,’ he said.

‘As one of the leaders of the organisation I’m going to continue to make a stand on it.

‘I’m going to the Minister to say there’s no protection under the Local Government Act for me and ask for him to beef up the code of conduct rulings.

‘I’ve got to spend my own money, my own time and I’ve got to put my own good name at risk to protect the organisation.

‘I’ve got very good councillors that I’ve got to try to persuade to stay in this game.’