DIY uber-mayor?

PERTH’S new lord mayor may have to Uber around town or get behind the wheel themselves under a new round of cost-cutting at Perth city council.

Previously lord mayors were provided a “luxury” vehicle costing $12,000 a year and a part-time chauffeur costing $45,000 a year. The old policy said nothing about restricting the use to official duties.

The new draft policy was initiated by chair commissioner Andrew Hammond to bring the transport arrangements “in line with community expectation” and also acknowledging the “dignity and respect for the role”.

He said at the May 26 council meeting: “It’s important we set some ground rules in place that support the lord mayor in going about their business in a cost efficient, effective, but also a dignified manner in accordance with the respect that should be afforded that very high office.”

Under the draft, whoever is elected lord mayor in October will get a “medium sized and well appointed” car to drive, or they can use their own car and claim mileage.

If the new lord mayor deems it unseemly to drive themselves to a particularly ceremonious event, they can bill the city for a taxi or “prestige ride share service”. That’s predicted to cost less than $10,000 a year if they get driven to 40 official duty events, compared to the $45,000 being spent on an in-house chauffeur in previous years.

The policy’s heading out for 21 days of public consultation and should be up at engage. perth.wa.gov.au shortly.

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