Mercedes for mayor and CEO ‘need to be justified’

LOCAL Government Minister Tony Simpson has said the decision to purchase Mercedes Benz vehicles for the City of Stirling Mayor and chief executive needed to be justified.

“Vehicle purchases are a matter for council and they need to justify these decisions to their ratepayers,” Mr Simpson said.

“Do I think it passes the public test? No I don’t.”

Mayor Giovanni Italiano and chief executive Stuart Jardine recently purchased a Mercedes C250 and a CLA250 with ratepayers’ money.

The cars retail for about $75,000 each but the City purchased them with a fleet discount at $65,000 each.

A City of Stirling spokeswoman said the City had a fleet management practice that guides the selection and maintenance of the City’s fleet vehicles.

“The chief executive has dropped from a V6 top of the line Toyota Prado, worth over $80,000 to a four cylinder Mercedes worth $65,000,” she said.

“The mayor has dropped from a top of the range Holden Calise V8 to a four cylinder Mercedes (at the same cost of $65,000) but far less fuel emissions, fuel consumption on both and a better resale value on both.”

She said the City had recently adopted a Vehicles Emissions Reduction Action Plan to implement strategies to reduce or mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from the City’s fleet.

“A revised vehicle pick list was developed for vehicle categories which sought to provide parameters for vehicle selection around cost, vehicles emissions, fuel consumption, safety and fuel type,” she said. “The vehicles purchased fit within those parameters. They hold their value and will also achieve a good resale price.”