PERTH council’s “joke” of a media policy that prevents councillors speaking to the press has been granted a stay of execution.
City staff, including new CEO Martin Mileham, recommended that councillors adopt a new policy letting them give their personal opinions to the press (provided they didn’t purport to be representing the city’s view).
The new policy had the backing of the Local Government Department and would bring Perth into line with just about every other council in the state, except for the City of Stirling.
But at the urging of Cr Jim Adamos, and with the voting power of lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi’s supporters (councillors Jim Adamos, Lily Chen, Janet Davidson, Judy McEvoy and Keith Yong), the policy was sent back to committee to draft special rules for social media interactions.
Cr Reece Harley, who for years has been pushing for the right to speak his mind to the media, described the current policy as a “joke” that frequently gets flouted.
Cr Jemma Green and James Limnios were also keen to see the media gag binned, with Cr Limnios saying “the silliness has to end”, at last week’s committee meeting.
He’d vowed to keep speaking his mind, despite previously being issued with a breach notice on a Monday morning.
It’ll take at least a month before the proposed policy, with its new social media clauses, returns to council.
by DAVID BELL