THE latest CCC report into Perth city council reveals a culture of distrust, “mischief,” and bullying tactics.
The report reveals that someone provided “mischievous” information to the press, leading to “media publicity affecting” the outcome of the committee and deputy mayoral elections in October.
The week of the council meeting to decide committee positions, several news outlets reported that Cr Harley had met with Cr Janet Davidson at council house to discuss committee preferences.
The ABC’s Rebecca Carmody tweeted the day before the council meeting there was an “alleged deal cut between Harley & Davidson on 9th floor of council house. Davidson promised 3 board positions”.
The CCC does not find any promises were made.
Traditionally not an ally of Cr Harley, Cr Davidson said that no promises were made, and the CCC found there was no evidence to suggest the meeting was “in any way exceptional”.
“Somebody maliciously gave Ms Carmody information which was false… the Carmody tweets and subsequent media may have damaged both Cr Davidson’s and Cr Harley’s reputations,” stated the CCC report. “Cr Limnios has given sworn evidence that he did not do so” but that “it is likely that Cr Limnios or someone in a position to know his actions and attentions had communicated with Ms Carmody”.
The report reveals that Cr Jemma Green said that after being elected in 2015 she was frozen out by lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi’s allies.
Cr Green told the CCC that apart from Cr Harley, “the other councillors hadn’t been willing to engage with me or meet with me”. She said “subsequent to my being elected I contacted them and asked for an introductory coffee, and some of them till just a few weeks ago I hadn’t actually had an introductory coffee with them at all. Some of them met with me but told me that they were instructed by the lord mayor not to meet with me and not to talk with me…it was a pretty hostile situation I would say.”
The CCC described the atmosphere around the deputy mayoral race as “febrile,” but concluded Cr Green’s appointment as “fair and untainted”.
She was a reluctant candidate, initially turning down the nomination but eventually allowing her name to put up, and she was unanimously elected.