Parking levy plea

LORD mayor Lisa Scaffidi has demanded the state government put a freeze on a parking tax it imposes on her council.

Inner-city councils have to pay the state government an ever-rising amount for parking bays located in large sections of Perth, West Perth, East Perth and Northbridge.

The money is meant to be used to fund public transport like CAT busses, but councils are often unhappy about how the cash is spent.

Mrs Scaffidi tabled the item as ”urgent business” at Tuesday’s council meeting, demanding the state government not increase the levy amount this year.

By law, “urgent business” items can only be brought up if the council will suffer some negative effect if it doesn’t get dealt with right away.

Power

Given the bad publicity following the lord mayor lately, Cr Reece Harley told the meeting: “I do think this is a bait and switch strategy from the lord mayor to distract from other issues she’s dealing with.

“This is an issue that happens annually, it’s not a surprise”.

Cr Jemma Green went further, calling it an “abuse of power” to raise the issue as an urgent item when it came up at the same time each year.

“To me this looks like a political stunt.”

Mrs Scaffidi was unfazed, merely telling Cr Green: “Well, you can vote against it then”.

Cr James Limnios was also unhappy with the last-minute motion, pointing out the lord mayor had recently wrongly allowed an item to be raised as urgent business (that was the no-confidence motion in Cr Limnios) only to be told off by the Local Government Standards Panel for wrongly applying the rules.

The item passed 6/2. with Crs Green and Limnios against.

by DAVID BELL

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