Scaffidi Digs in – Paul Murray Mysteriously Defends Her

Scaffidi digs a deeper hole and attempts Julia Gillard’s ‘young and naive’ defence:

A defiant Ms Scaffidi was last night digging in, rejecting the CCC’s finding she had “signally failed in her duties as lord mayor” and blaming her actions on inexperience and advice from others.

Meanwhile, Paul Murray’s cheese has completely slid off his cracker in this piece for the The West Australian. According to Paul, it’s all apparently a ‘technicality’:

Unfortunately, very few people will read the CCC’s report to understand the essentially technical nature of the breaches.

Here is a link to a copy of the decision. Unlike Paul, I’m not going to take a swipe at you for not having read it.

For Paul’s benefit, let’s recap what happened and take those nasty ‘technicalities’ out:

  • Scaffidi accepted tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts for her personal benefit.
  • Those gifts were given to her due to her role as Perth Lord Mayor. Let’s go to BHP’s own ‘strategy’ to help here:

“BHPB’s strategy for accomplishing its objectives included ‘utilising Olympic hospitality to motivate China-based stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, government and media, to enhance business opportunities for BHP Billiton in China’ and ‘utilising Olympic hospitality to build relationships with stakeholders from product and investor markets, and regions where we have or would like to have operations.”

I’ll give you a moment to go and throw up on that one…

And we’re back:

  • She didn’t disclose the personal benefits she received and took steps to hide the truth:

“At all events her actions subsequent to 31 August 2009, including telling a journalist the trip was personal, and falsely informing Mr Fletcher [of BHP], “of course its been registered”, were evasive.

“Because of the number of inconsistent explanations that Mrs Scaffidi has proffered, the Commission is unable to be satisfied that her motive and purpose for accepting the Olympic package was to advance the interests of the City.

  • She decided to pocket the gifts rather than decline them:

“It is more probable than not Mrs Scaffidi became aware she should not accept, or alternatively should withdraw from, the trip but chose instead to avail herself of the opportunity of an all-expenses paid trip to the Olympics followed by a side trip to Shanghai, where she paid for her own accommodation.”

  • She made decisions in her capacity as Lord Mayor which favoured the donors of the gifts – in close proximity to those gifts being given. For example:

On 22 April 2008, the newly elected Lord Mayor of the City of Perth (“the City”), Mrs Lisa Scaffidi, having declared an impartiality interest, voted with Council in favour of an application by BHP Billiton Ltd (BHPB) to waive a hire fee of $22,100 to use Forrest Place for the Olympic Live Site. At the time Mrs Scaffidi had been offered, and two days later formally accepted from BHPB, an Olympic Hospitality Package comprising an all-expenses paid trip to the 2008 Summer Olympic Games held in Beijing, China. The value of this package as estimated by BHPB was at least US$36,826. 

  • A government body called the ‘Corruption and Crime Commission’ – which is vastly more competent than Paul Murray in matters such as this – found that Scaffidi had engaged in ‘serious misconduct’ among other forms of misconduct:

On those two counts the CCC delivered opinions of serious misconduct, while acceptance of the Olympic package resulted in an opinion of misconduct.

Get your hand off it Paul. Scaffidi’s position is untenable. She has to go and charges must come her way. She has no business standing for re-election.

Of course, all this probably means she’ll keep digging in, get re-elected and have to be dragged kicking and screaming.

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