City of Stirling clamps down on questions over Mayor Giovanni Italiano photograph scandal

The contentious photo with Mayor Giovanni Italiano (standing).
The contentious photo with Mayor Giovanni Italiano (standing).

THE City of Stirling refused to respond to concerns from the public following a photograph scandal involving Mayor Giovanni Italiano.

Before public question time at last night’s council meeting, Stirling chief executive Stuart Jardine made a statement declaring any questions asked about councillors named recently in the media would be ruled “out of order” in accordance with Regulation 7 of the Local Government Administration regulations.

Karrinyup resident Arnold Davies, a regular council goer, asked the council why councillors were prevented from speaking to the media about photos of Cr Italiano with convicted heroin dealer Frank La Rosa and his killer in 2007.

Mr Davies asked why Councillor and former Mayor David Boothman spoke to media while other councillors did not.

The question was ruled out of order by Cr Italiano.

“Mr Davies, we’re unable to answer that question, that has been ruled out of order,” Cr Italiano said.

The Stirling Times asked Mr Jardine why the declaration to the public was needed.

“In the interest of good governance and to avoid the Council meeting being side-tracked into personal matters that have appeared in the media for some Councillors, I provided advice that public question time is to allow a member of the public an opportunity to ask questions on any matter that requires a decision to be made by the council,” he said.

“Any questions relating to these councillors’ personal matters should be directed to the individual themselves or their legal representative – not the council.”

Mr Jardine said the council had received feedback from a “handful” of residents.

“No questions have been received, only feedback from a handful of residents that they were not happy about the situation,” he said.

Mr Jardine said the council would not endeavour to answer questions from the public about the matter.

“This is a personal matter and as such any questions from the public should be directed to the individuals themselves or their legal representatives,” he said.

“There has been no breach in the Local Government Act or the City’s media policy.”