Sustainability guru Jemma Green has been appointed as an independent councillor to Perth City Council, knocking out former Deputy Lord Mayor Rob Butler in the process.
Winning 2004 votes (13.76 per cent of the vote) in last Saturday’s council elections, Ms Green will now commence a career-first four-year term as an independent councillor.
Writing on social media site Facebook, Ms Green said: “I am thrilled to confirm that tonight I have been elected a councillor for the City of Perth – it is an honour, a privilege, and a responsibility that I appreciate immensely, and take very seriously.
“I look forward to representing the voters of Perth in a positive, constructive, transparent and progressive way that will ensure our great city continues to become even more lively and liveable than it is today.
“Thank you to everyone who supported me; I will repay your faith by being a passionate, energetic and hard working councillor during my four-year term. I look forward to working together with all councillors and the Lord Mayor to make our wonderful city even better.”
It is expected Ms Green will implement a range of green policies while on council, including: creating “liveable” cities involving light rail infrastructure (which the new independent councillor says could be introduced into Perth next year with just a “modest amount of federal funding”); improving cycle infrastructure; advocating sustainable building methods including modular construction; improving rates of rubbish recycling; and planting trees for shading.
Other areas of focus for the new councillor include encouraging economic diversification to bring forward creative, knowledge-based and service jobs in technology start-ups, new media and other creative industries by focusing building, transport and urban renewal to attract these industries. A full list of platforms can be found on the official Jemma Green website.
Scaffidi reappointed despite “misconduct”
Ms Green has also said she will be seeking to create transparency in the “reasonable and responsible use of ratepayers funds”.
This has been a big topic of discussion in recent weeks, after the Corruption and Crime Commission found that Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi had engaged in “serious misconduct” by not disclosing thousands of dollars worth of gifts in her annual tax return for 2008/2009.
Ms Scaffidi has apologised for failing to comply with the Local Government Act and consistently maintained that the failures on her tax returns were “honest mistakes”.
Although Ms Scaffidi has now been reappointed to the position of Lord Mayor for a third term (winning 54.76 per cent of the count), she has been removed from her role as a deputy member of the Local Government Standards Panel. According to WA Local Government Minister Tony Simpson, the council deemed the Lord Mayor’s position on the panel as “inappropriate”.
Former Deputy Lord Mayor Rob Butler, whom Ms Green knocked out in what is being called a “shock result”, was also recently found to have breached the Local Government Act, failing to declare a trip funded by the Malaysian government.
Other successful candidates for the Perth City Council councillor positions were: Janet Davidson (returning); Jim Adamos (returning); and Lily Chen (returning).
Perth City Council chief executive Gareth Stevenson congratulated all the successful candidates on their appointments and thanked Mr Butler for his “significant and lasting contribution to this city”.
Find out more about the Perth elections.