Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi to be paid more than $60,000 a year despite council suspension
Mrs Scaffidi will be paid more than $60,000 a year despite the Council’s suspension. (ABC News: Eliza Laschon)
Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi will receive an annual allowance of almost $61,000, despite being suspended from her duties alongside the rest of the Perth City Council.
- The Perth City Council will be suspended immediately
- Three government-appointed commissioners will take over the basic functions of the council
- The action follows years of infighting among council factions
The three commissioners charged with temporarily running the city following council’s suspension last month voted unanimously on Tuesday night to give Mrs Scaffidi the minimum amount possible, while all other councillors will receive nothing.
The meeting was called to determine, among other issues, how much councillors should be paid during the suspension period.
The Office of the Chief Executive of the City of Perth had recommended the Lord Mayor’s pay be cut to $60,900 per year, the minimum amount possible under current legislation.
It also recommended no allowance be paid to Deputy Lord Mayor Jemma Green, and that councillors only be paid for attending council meetings.
However, because all councillors have been suspended and cannot attend meetings, they will effectively remain unpaid.
The commissioners agreed to all the recommendations, meaning Mrs Scaffidi will receive the money despite not performing lord mayoral duties.
Pub test failure
Earlier this week the Local Government Minister David Templeman said the outcome did not pass the pub test.
The Government had called for Mrs Scaffidi’s pay to be abolished entirely, but it has since been determined such a move would be prohibited under the Local Government Act.
Mr Templeman said the Government would look at possible amendments to the act.
Deputy Premier Roger Cook urged Mrs Scaffidi not to take the money.
“She should do the decent thing and not accept that allowance,” he said.
“Anyone would agree that the Lord Mayor continuing to receive an allowance while she is suspended doesn’t make sense.”
A lawyer representing Councillor Lexi Barton spoke at the meeting to argue the case for payments to councillors to continue, however the argument was rejected.
Councillor Steve Hasluck already voluntarily relinquished his attendance fees when the council was initially suspended.
Inquiry to restore confidence in PCC
On Tuesday, the State Government outlined the parameters of a wide-ranging inquiry into the City of Perth’s operations and affairs.
The inquiry will wield similar powers to a Royal Commission and will recommend whether or not the council should be sacked.
Mr Templeman said he wanted Perth ratepayers to regain confidence in the City. (ABC News: Eliza Laschon)
That probe begins next week and will be led by legal practitioner and adjunct professor Anthony Powers.
He is expected to report within 12 months.
Mr Templeman would not speculate on the outcome, but said he hoped it would restore confidence in the city.
“That is my primary concern,” Mr Templeman said.
“We need to now re-establish confidence in the City of Perth.
“I am very confident [Mr Power] has the expertise, the legal background obviously, and particularly the experience to carry out a full and frank inquiry.”
Mr Power will be paid the equivalent of a District Court judge salary of nearly $400,000 per year.