Stirling ratepayers criticise mayor and chief executive’s travel entitlements

Stirling Mayor Giovanni Italiano.
Stirling Mayor Giovanni Italiano.

TRAVEL entitlements for the City of Stirling mayor and chief executive have come under fire from ratepayers and councillors.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, a motion was passed to provide $15,487 for Mayor Giovanni Italiano and Councillor Andrew Guilfoyle to attend a conference in Spain later this year, with Cr Italiano’s business class fare costing $8811.

Cr Guilfoyle’s economy ticket was considerably less at $1806.

Carine resident Teresa Olow, who ran against Cr Italiano in the 2015 local government election, queried the $7005 discrepancy, saying it “wasn’t fair”.

MORE: Two men charged over alleged quokka kicking

MORE: Ex-Docker Ryan Crowley opens up on devastating drug ban

MORE: Waikiki’s Bates family in emotional Matt and Kim to the Rescue

“I understand they have a budget but whether it is business class or first class, it should come out of his own pocket not the ratepayers’ pocket,” she said.

Cr Italiano justified the trip, saying it would provide “valuable information regarding tourism strategies”.

At the same meeting, chief executive Stuart Jardine’s travel habits were questioned before a motion was passed to send him to a local government conference in Oklahoma this year for more than $6000. Cr Terry Tyzack said it meant he would chalk up 11 overseas trips in less than 10 years.

“Two overseas conferences in one financial year is more than enough absence for our CEO,” he said.

He said a chief executive “at the top of his game” did not need to go to the US for seven consecutive years.

“While I’m not against professional development, he has been here for 10 years and had previous experience as a CEO,” he said.

Cr David Lagan said the chief executive had racked up $81,000 in international conference travel costs in seven years. Stirling community development director Trevor Holland said the chief executive’s contract included a personal development plan.

Cr Lagan attended two conferences in the US in 2013 and 2014 at a cost of $26,386.

In 2012, Cr Tyzack attended a conference in Boston and one in 2014 in London at a cost of $18,046.