Miles says no

NEWLY minted WA local government minister Paul Miles is rejecting calls to intervene in the year-long Perth lord mayoral travel scandal saga.

Just before he resigned, his predecessor Tony Simpson, was under pressure from Labor to take action and bring the Lisa Scaffidi court case to a conclusion.

At the time Labor MPs David Templeman and Margaret Quirk got stuck in at parliament asking for a quick solution, with Mr Templeman saying it had “damaged the reputation of the office of the lord mayor and the City of Perth”.

Former Perth city councillor Alannah MacTiernan’s also called for a swift resolution, as has Bayswater councillor (and Liberal party member) Brent Fleeton.

In a Facebook post Cr Fleeton said Mr Miles is “a fantastic MP and will make a great minister”, but added “surely his most pressing issue is to show leadership by working to resolve the Lisa Scaffidi situation as soon as possible.

“I firmly believe that all the hard work many councils are doing to increase transparency and accountability is largely disregarded by the wider community because the state government is seemingly dragging its feet on prosecuting the lord mayor for failings of office [as found by the WA corruption and crime commission and the WA department of local government]. “

Cr Fleeton, who attended the most recent Perth council meeting as an observer, said “we all deserve to have faith in the integrity of the system that governs us. Right now that integrity is seriously called into question but I have faith the state government will do the right thing and uphold the rules.”

The local government department has already referred its findings to a hearing in the state administrative tribunal.

Like his predecessor, Mr Miles says it’s not his place to get involved.

“This matter is currently in the hands of the SAT and the legal processes it determines. As the new minister, I have received a full briefing and have complete confidence in the department’s handling of the matter,” he emailed the Voice.

“In order not to prejudice the outcome of the proceedings it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

by DAVID BELL

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