Carey: Council running Libs “protection racket”

PERTH MP John Carey has torn strips off Perth lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi’s council allies, describing their cosy relationship with the former Liberal state government as a “protection racket”.

While debating a bill on Wednesday to have councils audited by the auditor general, Mr Carey singled out Perth as an example of why codes of conduct need strengthening.

He named Ms Scaffidi’s allies one by one; “Lily Chen, failed Liberal candidate; Janet Davidson, failed Liberal candidate; Judy McEvoy, former staffer to Julie Bishop; Jim Adamos, fundraiser for Eleni Evangel; and Keith Yong, aspiring Liberal candidate.

“The majority of the council is run by Liberals who oppose abolishing alfresco fees, who kept the media gag and who oppose media transparency,” said Mr Carey.

“The Liberal party should be ashamed. It is no wonder that the former premier of WA said nothing about someone with 45 cases of serious misconduct,” Mr Carey said, referring to Ms Scaffidi’s ongoing case in front of the State Administrative Tribunal. “Why? That is because it was a protection racket. The Liberals were protecting their own. That is what it was about.”

Mr Carey says suggestions from unaligned councillors get shot down.

“I genuinely want the City of Perth to do well, but I want it to open itself up to new ideas and have an open culture that embraces other ideas and says ‘we’re not the smartest people in the room; we want to embrace what the small business sector is saying about alfresco fees; we want an open media policy; we want to consider changes to parking’.”

“However, if it does not come from that group [Ms Scaffidi’s allies], it will not be considered, and I find that poor local government, on both sides—whether it is a Labor council or a Liberal council.

“I was always open in admitting that I was a member of the Labor party, but I ran as myself, and so did everyone else on the Vincent council.”

by DAVID BELL

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