MALAYSIA’S president was gifted US$681 million by the Saudi royal family, New South Wales ex-premier Barry O’Farrell got a $3000 bottle of plonk, but out in Bayswater they’re gifting city officials cupcakes and baby booties.
Bayswater council now lists all gifts to councillors and staff online, and a glance over the humble offerings dash any pictures ratepayers had of their representatives living off grift.
The swishest item listed this year was tech services director Doug Pearson’s two tickets to the east metro regional council dinner, worth $286.
Apart from that there’s minor offerings like the lotto tickets, easter eggs and scratchies (total value, $15.50) that a grateful senior citizen gave to two staffers for their work under the Home and Care Community program which looks after older folk.
Another older lady chuffed with the help offered by city staff also gave baby booties and a one-piece baby suit to one of the HACC workers.
Forget developers with suitcases stuffed with dollar bills; planning officer Helen Smith was given 12 cupcakes in gratitude from a person applying for a single louvre on their Maylands property.
Vincent’s register is similarly threadbare. Mayor John Carey, a known Star Wars tragic, declared that fellow councillor Emma Cole recently gifted him a Yoda figurine and the Yoda Book of Wisdom (estimated value: $20).
Stirling councillors and staff are getting “treated” to free tickets to fairly dry forums and grey seminars, though one colourful item included one of the city’s volunteer coordinators being gifted a “Djelba”, listed as traditional Jordanian dress.
Perth council has also been keeping its gift book pretty spick and span lately: The only entries in the last couple of months are from James Limnios.
He self-funded a trip to Nanjing, Perth’s sister city, and declared a scattering of gifts from the local Qixia district including a “large Yun Jin Brocade”.
We Googled it. It’s a silk fabric weaving, and the designs from Nanjing are known as some of the finest, and are said to be as beautiful and intricate as the clouds.
by DAVID BELL