Tag Archive | "Politics"

Scaffidi travel fiasco makes more waves as neighbouring mayor plots accountability protest.

Vincent mayor plans WALGA boycott

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: The Lisa Scaffidi free travel fiasco continues to make waves, with the Mayor of Vincent looking to pull his council out of the WA Local Government Association for refusing to make transparency training compulsory for mayors and councillors.

oneperth.com.au can reveal that at a council meeting this coming Tuesday night Vincent mayor John Carey will move that his council’s staff prepare a report on the pros and cons of pulling out of WALGA.

After former industry lobbyist Mrs Scaffidi told the Corruption and Crime Commission she was a babe in the City of Perth woods when in 2008 she accepted a free trip for two to the Beijing Olympics courtesy of BHP-Billiton, Mr Carey started pushing for compulsory transparency training for mayors and councillors.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson agrees, and wants to make training compulsory in the wake of the Scaffidi free travel affair.

But in December, WALGA’s state council resolved to oppose mandatory training.

“In recent times, WALGA’s position on key policy and political matters (as set by the majority of its local government members) has been very different to the positions adopted by the City of Vincent, particularly in relation to the introduction of improved transparency and accountability measures across the sector,” Mr Carey will tell his councillor colleagues on Tuesday night.

“In those important instances, the position adopted by WALGA ‘on behalf the local government sector’ has not been representative of the City of Vincent’s views.”

Mr Carey says that many services provided by WALGA are available from other suppliers.

In 2014/15 the council’s WALGA membership cost Vincent ratepayers $52,000.

Almost all of Western Australia’s 140 councils are members of WALGA. In metropolitan Perth, the City of Nedlands is not.

Photo of Vincent council HQ: ‘Orderinchaos’, Wikimedia Commons.

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How council boss was sacked secretly after Lord Mayor said a prayer.

Perth CEO dumped in 14 minutes

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: The secret career assassination of Perth council CEO Gary Stevenson took just 14 minutes to execute last week, a City of Perth document reveals.

Minutes of a special meeting of the council show that at 9.21am on January 20 Perth mayor Lisa Scaffidi said a prayer, and declared the forum open.

Mrs Scaffidi’s political nemesis Reece Harley, the mayor’s only opponent at the recent council elections, moved that the meeting go behind closed doors. This was seconded by veteran councillor Judy McEvoy, onetime vehement critic of the secrecy of Mrs Scaffidi’s contentious overseas trips, who is now a political ally.

The motion was carried, and City of Perth staff, and the public, were asked to leave – except for one official, Angela Smith, who was appointed minute taker.

The day before, another secret meeting – of the council’s CEO Performance Review Committee – had recommended that Mr Stevenson be axed.

At the full council meeting, Mrs Scaffidi’s closest ally on the council, Janet Davidson, moved that the committee’s recommendation be approved. Real estate agent-cum-councillor James Limnios seconded the motion, which was carried unanimously by the city’s full complement of elected officials.

At 9.35am Mrs Scaffidi reopened the meeting to the public and told those in attendance that Mr Stevenson had been sacked.

Mr Stevenson lasted just over three years at the council, after his appointment and one-way air fares from Queensland were unanimously approved by Mrs Scaffidi and her then city councillor colleagues in September 2012.

Mr Stevenson’s predecessor, Frank Edwards, who helped Mrs Scaffidi camouflage BHP-Billiton’s funding of a free trip for she and property developer husband Joe to the Beijing Olympics, served a decade at the council before retiring. Mrs Scaffidi’s failure to disclose the BHP-Billiton funding was slammed recently by the Corruption and Crime Commission.

She is still under investigation by the Department of Local Government and Communities.

Mr Stevenson and Mrs Scaffidi are pictured above, during happier times, not long after his appointment.

Mrs Scaffidi and the council have refused to elaborate on why, exactly, Mr Stevenson was fired, claiming only in a four-paragraph press release that the city needed a “new direction”.

The council’s chief town planner Martin Mileham has been appointed Acting Chief Executive Officer, and will sit at the left hand of Mrs Scaffidi at the next council meeting on February 2.

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In wake of Scaffidi travel scandal, corruption watchdog to address mayors, councillors and officials.

CCC misconduct workshop for local councils

STAFF REPORTER

In the wake of the Lisa Scaffidi travel declaration scandal, the Corruption and Crime Commissioner and Public Sector Commissioner will address local politicians and officials about recent changes to legislation on misconduct in local government and ways to maintain best practice within the sector.

The Preventing Misconduct in Local Government breakfast, to be addressed by the CCC’s John McKechnie QC and Public Sector Commissioner Mal Wauchope, is aimed at promoting the highest standards of transparency and accountability in all areas of local governance.

At the free breakfast, council officials will have the opportunity to ask questions of the commissioners, network, and discuss issues with their local government colleagues.

Only mayors, shire presidents, councillors and council officials can attend the WA Local Government Association event.

Details of the breakfast presentation follow:

Date:      Friday, November 13
Time:     7:30am – 9:30am (registration from 7:00am)
Venue:   Hyatt Regency, Perth
Cost:      No charge.
Register with WA Local Government Association by: Friday, November 6.

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State Premier considers himself first among 2.6 million sandgropers.

‘I’m WA’s Number 1’: Barnett

STAFF REPORTER

State Premier Colin Barnett believes that every morning when he rolls out of bed he does so as Western Australia’s “Number One” citizen.

“I still find it quite surprising that every morning that of the 2.6 million people in Western Australia, how did I get to number one?” a Murdoch University source today quoted Mr Barnett as saying at a gathering of students at the university on Friday.

WA's self-proclaimed numero uno at Murdoch last week.

WA’s self-proclaimed numero uno at Murdoch last week.

“It’s a fascinating life and if anyone is thinking about going into politics —whichever politic philosophy you might follow — I urge you to do so.

“It’s an extraordinary way of life.”

Mr Barnett expounded upon his journey from humble university student to leader of Western Australia, describing every day as “inherently interesting”.

“I really don’t know how that happened, probably good luck and grasping at opportunities when they’re there,” he said in a quip-packed, hour-long session.

Mr Barnett was a guest of the Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs.

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Musical ministers at it again

CHRIS THOMSON

Not content with the mundanities of administering their portfolios, the Cabinet ministry of Colin Barnett has hopped back on the pop music bandwagon, this time with their leader at the reins.

In January, oneperth.com.au observed that State Cabinet had unleashed a spate of ministerial media releases incorporating titles of popular songs in their headlines.

In that month alone, ministers Albert Jacob, Helen Morton, John Day and Michael Mischin integrated the titles of no less than seven oldies but goldies into the headlines of media releases. The acts so honoured were Culture Club, Ray Charles, The Ramones, Al Green/Talking Heads, UK Squeeze, Elvis Costello, and Def Leppard.

Now, the musical ministers are at it again, with Mr Jacob and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman today issuing a release titled: ‘Who let the dogs out in the Pilbara’, a reference to the Year 2000 canine-inspired ditty of one-hit-wonders Baha Men.

COL JOY

oneperth.com.au can also confirm that Mr Barnett has decided to join the musical release lineup for the first time.

Entering the charts with a bullet on February 16, but sharing the limelight with subordinates Kim Hames and Mia Davies, the State Premier and his two backing vocalists issued a release titled: ‘We are the champions … and we’re coming to Perth‘.

An obvious homage to Queen and the late, great Freddie Mercury, that release was followed up on May 23 with the more obscure ‘Heaven’s best on display at Astrofest 2015‘, probably an allusion to the song ‘Heaven’s Best’ by New York soul momma Kelly Price.

Mr Barnett reinforced his chart success in a joint release with Dr Hames titled ‘New kids on the block‘.

SIX OF THE BEST

Refusing to let his boss hog the limelight, Attorney General Mischin, who figured prominently in the January musical ministerial releases, has six (count ’em, six) entries this time ’round.

The first, ‘WA searches for a lawyer with a heart of gold’ would have long-haired hippy troubadour Neil Young turning in his grave if he were dead.

Bachman Turner Overdrive might be marginally more satisfied with Mr Mischin’s ‘Taking care of business made easier for WA firms’.

The Attorney-General’s third release, ‘Accolades for those who fight for your rights’, was a veiled reference to a worldwide hit by Brooklyn rap trio the Beastie Boys.

Fourth was Mr Mischin’s May 11 release ‘Law award winner is pretty fly (for a legal eye)’, in the mode of 1990s pop-punks Prodigy.

Fifth for Mr Mischin was ‘Return to sender operation thwarts scammers’, featuring the title of a signature tune by no less than The King, Elvis Aaron Presley.

Rounding out Mr Mischin’s contribution to the press release pop charts was the Billy Idol-inspired ‘Rise in white weddings at WA’s registry office’.

MUSICAL RIVALS

But, just as Blur pipped Oasis for Britpop honours in the late 1990s, Mr Mischin was pipped by Dr Hames who, with the help of a few sneaky duets, has managed a remarkable seven musical media releases since February 1.

On February 27, he and Ms Davies released a duet titled ‘Howzat! Game on for World Cup innings’, in memory of Aussie pop gods Sherbet.

Dr Hames’ solo effort, ‘Needles and wins: Mums urged to vaccinate’, refers to ‘Needles and pins’ which has been recorded by virtually every pop star ever to grip a mic.

Channeling Rodgers & Hammerstein, Mr Hames on April 2 noted that ‘Freo streets come alive to the sound of music’.

With Regional Development Minister Terry Redman, who charted for the first time, Dr Hames also released ‘Kimberley to shine bright like a diamond’ (which rips a line from a Rihanna song), and ‘Money, money, money for regional events’ (ABBA).

Last, and probably least, in the duo’s discography is ‘Taste of honey and red, red wine in WA’s south’ – a double-bunger tribute to The Beatles and Neil Diamond/UB40.

Dr Hames’ solo release ‘Higher and higher – awards finalists announced’ is probably a reference to Jackie Wilson’s ‘(Your love keeps lifting me) higher and higher’.

Trumpet pic: http://solstock.deviantart.com

ENDS

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$20m facelift for ministerial mansion

CHRIS THOMSON

The West Perth office block that houses 15 of Colin Barnett’s 16 Cabinet ministers is being primed for a $15 to $20 million facelift.

Dumas House (pictured) has long dominated the West Perth skyline.

It has been WA’s tower of power since 2012 by which time most of Mr Barnett’s ministers had moved there from Governor Stirling Tower.

Bureaucrats from the Department of Treasury and Finance, and the Economic Regulation Authority were displaced to 140 William Street and Albert Facey House in Perth, and the Optima building in Osborne Park.

Mr Barnett and his official enterage moved into urbane digs at the nearby, historic Hale House, which underwent a $17 million refurbishment.

For its part, Dumas House received a $47 million internal and compliance refurb’ so it was up to scratch for its new high-powered tenants.

Announcing the renovations in 2011, then Finance Minister Simon O’Brien said $9 million would be required for remedial works to the building’s facade.

Now, oneperth.com.au has learned that figure is likely to blow out to between $15 and $20 million, with both the facade and podium area of the building now needing restoration.

The government plans to restore both to ensure their integrity and safety for the next 50 years.

Construction is expected to start late this year.

In 2012, Dumas House also became home to the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and the government’s high-profile media control unit.

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‘State more corrupt than councils’

STAFF REPORTER

Local governments deserve an explanation and apology from Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett following his comments about alleged corruption in the sector during a radio interview yesterday, says the state’s pre-eminent mayor.

Today, WA Local Government Association president Troy Pickard said the claims were unfounded and damaging to a sector already under immense pressure.

Mr Pickard refuted Mr Barnett’s contention that the Corruption and Crime Commission had identified local governments as the main source of corruption in Western Australia.

“What we have here is a classic case of political point-scoring at the expense of an easy target in local government,” Mr Pickard said.

“The premier’s comments are not only insulting to the 1300 elected members and 15,000 employees that serve the community through local government in this state, they are patently incorrect.

“Even the most superficial assessment of the Corruption and Crime Commission’s activities over the past few years demonstrate that allegations against local governments comprise only a fraction of those against, for example, the State Government’s own agencies.”

The CCC recorded 7260 allegations of misconduct and corruption in 2013-14. Of these, between 6145 and 6893 were made against state government Agencies. Just 317 related to local governments.

In 2012-13, allegations about local government comprised just 301 of the 6148 allegations recorded by the CCC, with between 5208 and 5798 being made against State Government agencies.

“The sector is rightly shocked and furious that the premier has made such an irresponsible statement that only serves to fuel unjustified prejudice towards the local government sector,” Mr Pickard said.

“WALGA demands that the premier make an immediate apology to the hard working men and women in local government, the vast majority of whose main motivation is simply to serve their communities.”

Mr Pickard is a long-serving mayor of Joondalup who was recently elected president of the Australian Local Government Association.

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Barnett ministry a funky bunch

‘CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: The new year has ushered in a raft of media releases from Western Australian Cabinet ministers inspired by the senior politicians’ latest memories of pop music’s greatest hits.

‘ALL I GET IS BITTER AND A NASTY LITTLE RASH’

Today, in an homage to New Wave outfit Squeeze, environment minister Albert Jacob issued a release titled: World-first poison bait not so cool for cats.

In 1979, Squeeze, or UK Squeeze as they were then known in Australia, had a Top 10 hit in the antipodes with their single Cool for Cats.

‘I DON’T KNOW WHY I LOVE YOU LIKE I DO’

Mr Jacob’s press release is moving up the oneperth.com.au charts with a bullet.

It arrives hot on the heels of planning minister John Day’s chart-topping release of yesterday titled: Take me to the river … and the stadium.

That puff piece invokes the title of a soul hit by the Reverend Al Green notably covered by Talking Heads on their stunning second album More Songs about Buildings and Food. The album has long been an inspiration for oneperth.com.au which on slow news days rallies to the catchcry: ‘more yarns about buildings and food‘.

But oneperth.com.au digresses.

‘EVERY DAY IS LIKE SURVIVAL’

Next on the Barnett Government hit list is Eco-design means a Karma chameleon for Rottnest, again from the label of jumpin’ John Day.

That release owes its inspiration to a swingin’ little ditty you might remember by 1980s gender bender Boy George and his band Culture Club.

‘THERE WAS A CHECKPOINT CHARLIE’

Rounding out the Government Media Office Top 5 for January is a double-barrelled headline from Attorney General Michael Mischin titled: Hit the road jack, Oliver’s army is here to stay.

The first half of the headline is lifted from the title of a Ray Charles hit that needs no introduction.

The second half comes with apologies to Elvis Costello whose Oliver’s Army achieved minor chart success in Australia but spent four weeks at Number 2 in the UK singles chart in 1979.

‘DO YOU TELL LIES AND SAY THAT IT’S FOREVER?’

But wait, yes, there’s more.

Also in State Cabinet’s bargain box of hard rock headlines is Love bites, love bleeds $11m from West Aussies, a doff of Mr Mischin’s legal wig to a 1987 power ballad by big-haired English rockers Def Leppard.

‘THEY’RE FORMING IN A STRAIGHT LINE’

And no wrap-up of this month’s media release hit parade would be complete without Disability Services minister Helen Morton’s Hey ho, let’s grow inclusive communities! adapted from an anthemic line of Blitzkreig Bop by New York punk pioneers The Ramones.

Premier Barnett is yet to jump on the rock bandwagon with a music release of his own.

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Scaffidi won’t be world’s best mayor

CHRIS THOMSON

After being dubbed the second best mayor in the world in the last rendition of the world’s best mayor contest, Perth’s Lisa Scaffidi is the only mainland state capital leader not to factor in the finals this year.

After being lionised as the world’s second-best mayor in 2012, Ms Scaffidi has not been long-listed in this year’s version of the biennial award.

From a long-list that did not include Ms Scaffidi, but found space for Adelaide’s Stephen Yarwood, Brisbane’s Graham Quirk, Melbourne’s Robert Doyle, Geelong’s Darryn Lyons, a couple of Kiwis, and Sydney’s Clover Moore, Ms Moore is the only Australasian mayor to be shortlisted for the prize.

Contrary to the practice of most Perth mayors who just pick up their phones, Ms Scaffidi insists that oneperth.com.au and others contact her only through an email to public relations bureaucrats at the City of Perth. Yesterday, we asked Ms Scaffidi, through the bureaucracy, if she was disappointed about this year’s results. We’ll publish her reply if it arrives.

The mayor awarded top gong in 2012, Bilbao’s Inaki Azkuna, was not long-listed this year. Bronze medallist Joko Widodo, of Surakarta in Indonesia, was long-listed but failed to make the penultimate cut.

Ms Moore will slug it out against 25 other short-listed mayors from Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Europe.

The award is bestowed every other year by the ‘World Mayor’ organisation which operates under the stirring catch-cry: ‘Honouring Outstanding Mayors Since 2004’.

Vote for your favourite candidate here, if the urge takes you.

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WAle shark

STAFF REPORTER

The whale shark has been named as Western Australia’s marine animal emblem.

Premier Colin Barnett said the selection of the whale shark came after a statewide competition to nominate a marine emblem.

Mr Barnett said the whale shark had become famous for moving every year during autumn and winter off the coast of Exmouth in Ningaloo Marine Park.

“The whale shark is a significant attraction for those visiting Western Australia and reflects the diversity and beauty of the state’s marine life,” he said.

Just 34 entries were received in the ‘name the emblem’ exercise, and the students of Forest Crescent Primary School in Thornlie were selected as the winning submission.

The whale shark will join the flower emblem (red and green kangaroo paw), bird emblem (black swan), animal emblem (numbat), and fossil emblem (Gogo fish) as the state’s symbols.

 

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How much is your MP worth?

CHRIS THOMSON

The Salaries and Allowances Tribunal will soon survey a random sample of no less than 400 Western Australians to gauge what they think about their state politicians and how much they get paid.

Every year the tribunal inquires into the pay of members of Parliament and seeks community input.

But, despite the monopoly tabloids‘ obsession with MP pay, the tribunal’s annual request for public submissions falls largely on deaf ears.

To get a greater community response, the tribunal will soon engage a social researcher to design a web survey to determine Western Australia’s understanding and expectations of the work value and remuneration of state MPs.

The survey will also examine community expectations of MPs’ working hours and levels of responsibility.

The survey will be 15 to 25 questions long, and be targeted at no fewer than 400 randomly-selected sandgropers, no fewer than 25 per cent and no more than 30 per cent of whom will be from regional areas.

A sample survey whipped up by the tribunal, and subject to change before the random 400 get polled, follows:

“1. Thinking about the Western Australian Parliament, could you tell about how many days a year the Parliament meets? Is it:

i. 20 days

ii. 40 days

iii. 60 days

iv. More than 60 days

2. Again, thinking about the Western Australian Parliament, do you think that Members of Parliament work:

i. About 30 hours a week

ii. About a 40 hours a week

iii. About 50 hours a week

iv. More than 50 hours a week

3. Again, thinking about the Western Australian Parliament, what are the three most important skills that a Member of Parliament needs in order to do the work of a Member? Do they include:

i. Listening to the community

ii. Being able to speak well

iii. Being able to represent the needs of the community to the government

iv. Being able to resolve local problems

v. Getting things done for the state

vi. other

4. Thinking now about how much a Member of Parliament is paid each week, do you think it is:

i. Less than $1500 a week

ii. Between $1500 and $2500 a week

iii. Between $2500 and $3500 a week

iv. Between $3500 and $4000 a week

v. More than $4000 a week

5. Do you think that the present level of salaries for Members of the WA Parliament are :

i. Too low

ii. Somewhat too low

iii. About right

iv. Somewhat too high

v. Too high

6. Thinking about superannuation now, do you know if Members of the WA Parliament are paid superannuation:

i. At the amount of 9.25% employer contribution required by law

ii. At 12.5% employer contribution

iii. More than 12.5% employer contribution (please state)

7. Do you think that the present superannuation arrangements for Members of the WA Parliament are:

i. Too low

ii. Somewhat too low

iii. About right

iv. Somewhat too high

v. Too high

8. Comparing these arrangements with those for most Western Australian employees, do you think it is:

i. Much less favourable

ii. About the same

iii. Much more favourable

9. Thinking again about the work of a Member of Parliament, do you feel:

i. Not at all informed about their work

ii. Not too informed

iii. Somewhat informed

iv. Well-informed

10. Thinking again about the responsibilities of a Member of Parliament (back bencher) what occupation would you liken them to:

i. School Principal

ii. Police Senior Sergeant

iii. Small business manager

iv. Mid sized company COE

v. Lawyer

vi. Other (please state)

11. I’d like now to ask you for some information about your education and income. This information is confidential and is used to assist in analysing the information gained from the survey.

A. What is your highest level of education:

i. Primary

ii. Secondary

iii. Tertiary

B. Approximately, what is the total income of your household:

i. Use ABS categories

C. Are you:

i. Male

ii. Female

12. What is your postcode?

Thank you for your cooperation.”

A base grade state backbencher pockets $148,638 a year, plus a minimum electorate allowance of $67,000 a year, and lease of a car for work and private use to the value of $25,000 a year.

Photo: ‘Nachoman-au, Wikimedia Commons

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Barnett backflip on Vincent boundaries

CHRIS THOMSON

Premier Colin barnett today caved to community pressure over the most controversial aspect of its tortuous local government merger process by agreeing to merge the entire City of Vincent with the City of Perth.

In releasing the hurriedly revised plan at the University of Western Australia today, Mr Barnett said the university – currently split between three local authorities – would now fall with the City of Perth only.

“This boundary is just one of the anomalies in the current local government boundaries in the Perth metropolitan area, which in many cases were drawn up more than 100 years ago,” Mr Barnett said.

“The government’s model for the City of Perth will dispense with this absurd situation – which has UWA overseen by three separate councils – by bringing the entire campus into the City of Perth.”

The inner-urban City of Vincent had been arguing that an even greater anomaly would have been brought by Mr Barnett if he had split the Vincent between suburban Stirling and urbane Perth, as per plans he announced just four months ago.

“We have also listened to the residents of Vincent, who want to be treated as an inner city area and included in the City of Perth,” Mr Barnett back-pedalled.

“It is also important that the reform process begins with the City of Perth.

“These changes will give the city the status it should hold as a capital city with growing importance in the region.

“This model will enhance the city, bringing the emblematic features that are the city’s great selling points under one administrative umbrella.”

Under Mr Barnett’s latest model, the northern boundary of the City of Perth will follow the current City of Vincent boundary along Green and Walcott streets, as pictured.

VOICE OF VINCENT

In a statement today, new Vincent mayor John Carey said he was relieved that most of the Vincent community would not be split – but saddened that his “dynamic” council would be abolished “without residents being given the final say on what they want for their future”.

“I want to recognise the incredible hard work, energy and activism of our local community – who stood up to stop a split that made no sense and failed to acknowledge how connected we are within the City of Vincent,” Cr Carey said.

“The government’s backflip was because of you.

“People power won the day!”

SCAFFIDI SNIPES

Perth mayor Lisa Scaffidi whose council does not want Vincent today slammed the Premier’s change of heart.

“We are very concerned for our existing ratepayers in that standardisation of rates (which are much higher in Vincent and other councils than in Perth) will either mean a significant revenue shortfall or a rates increase for the City of Perth’s current ratepayers – eg: an estimated $214,ooo increase for major ratepayers like Brookfield Place as just one example,” Ms Scaffidi railed.

“The City of Perth is saddened by state government’s selective consideration of the community’s views (reference to the very low participation in the recent poll [on amalgamations] Vincent undertook which has been heeded while high participation poll at Burswood has been completely ignored).”

Ms Scaffidi followed oneperth.com.au in dubbing Mr Barnett’s announcement “a backflip”.

“This is a cop out,” she complained.

“The Premier has repeatedly stated that he is keen to take community concerns on board but does appear to have selective hearing according to where his seats are.”

The state seat of Perth, which includes the cities of Perth and Vincent, was snatched from Labor’s grasp by Mr Barnett’s Liberal colleague Eleni Evangel at the last state election. Ms Evangel, a City of Perth councillor and sometime ally of Ms Scaffidi’s before being called upon for higher duties, has made no bones about the fact she wants all of Vincent included in Perth.

“The city now joins a growing list of strong adversaries on the way this process is being managed while previously they had been very much in sync with the government on this matter,” Ms Scaffidi blustered.

Mr Barnett’s local government amalgamation process has dragged on for almost five years.

However, it is also critical to understand that a part of Vincent has still been excluded – and my commitment to these residents is we will fight for your inclusion to the City of Perth. The Banks Precinct (east of East Parade to the Swan River) has been excluded. Our motto is: One In, All In and as Mayor, I remain committed to that.

I firmly believe that community sentiment – which was reflected in the plebiscite results and face-to-face feedback – was for Vincent to stay as is. This decision to run the Vincent to Perth – One In, All Incampaign was made with one arm virtually tied behind our back on the basis that the WA Government would not consider anything else other than forced mergers.

I want to ensure all Vincent residents and local business that we will continue to advocate strongly on your behalf and that any transitional arrangements put in place are fair to our community.   We also want to ensure that the final model of governance for a new City of Perth has strong representation for all residents, ratepayers and small businesses.

Please do not hesitate to contact me on 9273 6570 should you wish to raise any issues on the new boundaries.

 

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Curtin houses foreign consulate

STAFF REPORTER

Curtin University has become the only university in Western Australia to house a consulate of a foreign country.

Botswana opened its diplomatic mission to Australia in Canberra in February 2003 and its consulate in WA opened in Leederville in October 2009 before moving to Curtin’s Bentley campus in July.

Honorary Consul Pankaj Pathak, a Curtin staff member, said the Botswana High Commission aimed to cultivate cooperative foreign relations and, with Curtin’s ongoing strong focus in mining and agriculture, he could not think of a better place for the consulate to be located.

The Consulate of the Republic of Botswana is located within the Curtin Business School.

Curtin Acting Vice-Chancellor Colin Stirling said the university’s Western Australian School of Mines had strong links with Botswana, a nation that very rich in diamonds and with an increasingly strong mining industry.

“There is already a strong connection between Curtin and the Republic of Botswana, with 62 students currently at the University undertaking a range of courses including commerce, science, architecture and engineering,” Professor Stirling said.

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Perth dumps Vincent

CHRIS THOMSON

Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi and her Perth councillor colleagues tonight resoundingly rejected a total merger with the City of Vincent.

At a Perth council meeting tonight, Ms Scaffidi and her colleagues controversially voted to support new boundaries which take in some of the jewels in Vincent’s crown – such as the Leederville cafe strip – but reject other areas where the council rates take is not so big.

For weeks, the inner city Vincent council had lobbied Ms Scaffidi and the state government after Premier Colin Barnett announced his preference to abolish Vincent and split its ratepayers between Perth and the outer city council of Stirling.

Vincent had argued that placing half its ratepayers in Stirling made no sense from a community-of-interest perspective, and that the whole of Vincent should be folded into Perth.

However, the new option favoured by Ms Scaffidi goes even further than Mr Barnett’s plan in delivering big chunks of Vincent to Stirling.

INNER HIGHGATE SHUNTED TO OUTER STIRLING

The main bone of contention over Ms Scaffidi’s plan is that the entire inner city suburb of Highgate would be shunted to Stirling, instead of being shifted to Perth a la the Barnett blueprint.

The City of Perth will submit its proposal to the Local Government Advisory Board on October 4.

Perth’s preferred map has angered acting Vincent mayor John Carey.

“The City of Perth proposes to cherry pick significant assets in nearby Vincent, Nedlands and Victoria Park much to the detriment of these communities,” Mr Carey said today.

“The plan continues to split the highly popular and successful Leederville town centre from the rest of Leederville.

“Not only does this decision go against the State Government’s own Robson report which supported a full merger of Vincent with Perth, it also goes against the Perth council’s previous submissions.”

Recent rallies arranged by Vincent council have overwhelmingly supported a full merger with the City of Perth, as do 7500 petition signatures tabled in State Parliament yesterday.

The City of Vincent has arranged for a vote on the matter be sent to every elector in Vincent in the next week as part of the upcoming local government government elections.

The Vincent rejection comes a fortnight after inner-city-style Fremantle rejected Mr Barnett’s plan to merge it with the suburban City of Melville.

Mr Barnett’s four-and-a-half year local government merger saga drags on …

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