Green means go

In the latest twist in Perth council’s bitter power struggle, Jemma Green has become acting lord mayor.

On Tuesday night she was unanimously elected by fellow councillors as deputy lord mayor, but with Lisa Scaffidi still standing down from her duties pending her appeal, Ms Green becomes acting mayor.

Councillors took almost three hours to choose a deputy mayor on Tuesday night.

Reece Harley and James Limnios nominated for deputy and got four votes each.

According to the Local Government Act there can be a second vote, but if that’s tied then ballots are drawn to pick a winner, so councillors decide to adjourn the meeting to negotiate and avoid a lucky dip.

Councillors Limnios and Harley then withdraw their nominations.

Earlier in the day it had been murmured that Lily Chen might be a potential candidate, but councillors elected Cr Green.

• Jemma Green. File photo

Two years into her first term, she’s a former London banker, a researcher in disruptive innovation at Curtin, and is one of the founders of “PowerLedger,” a digital energy marketplace for peer- to-peer electricity trading.

She’s clashed with Ms Scaffidi and her allies in the past, when trying to get the city to support the Historic Heart of Perth project, and when trying to scrap the old policy that prevented councillors from speaking to the media.

A few months after being elected she revealed the lord mayor had refused to meet with her despite several attempts at setting up a meeting, and said Ms Scaffidi had called on her allies to “freeze out” the new councillor.

After being elected deputy lord mayor, Cr Green said ratepayers, stakeholders and the broader community were looking for stability and leadership.

“In the coming weeks and months in office I intend to bring just that,” she said.

“Our community deserves it.

“Stability comes from a willingness to build relationships with all stakeholders, including those from different sides of the political spectrum, and those who have new and different ideas.”

She’ll be acting mayor until the court agrees with Ms Scaffidi’s appeal and overturns her disqualification from office, or if that appeal fails there’ll likely be a by-election to vote in a new lord mayor.

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