If we accept Dr Pettitt’s leadership was second to none, and the King’s Square Plan (KSP) is the saviour of the city, then why would he leave now? Until a few weeks ago, if we believe the repetitive public relations spin, all was rosy and going according to plan, then now is not a good time for Brad Pettitt to leave. He could easily have basked in the glory of a successful plan.
The other side of the story is that recent financial reports show the city has been performing extremely badly. Not only that but Council had no protection in place to prevent fraud and corruption. The Covid19 virus has placed council under pressure and is already being used as a convenient scapegoat for the failure of the KSP.
The mayor has, for the duration of his role, had Brian Smith as a campaign manager and adviser. They are close friends to the extent Smith lends the Mayor his luxury camper van for weekend excursions. It is apparent that Smith takes a lot of interest in the work of individual councillors.
Smith is also close to both former WA Inc Premier, Peter Dowding and Deputy Mayor Sullivan. The government of WA Inc was described in international media as ‘The most corrupt Australia had experienced since Federation’.
Dowding has privately expressed, ‘The Greens are fairies at the bottom of the garden’.
Is it reasonable to assume that Smith and Co may have advised the mayor to jump ship ‘while the going is good’? Will Sullivan now be supported to become mayor?
There may be a number of credible contenders, notably Councillor Hannah Fitzhardinge. It remains to be seen how Marija Vujic is accepted beyond her South Ward precinct. She has not indicated an intention to run for the role of mayor however Peter Dowding indicated that he did not want her in the role of councillor, expressing veiled threats that he will muster his ‘many friends in South Fremantle’ against her. Presumably he means the G4F group.
Vujic is an intelligent lateral thinker, as well as being independent. She could be an excellent mayor given time to muster support. Thus removing Brad Pettitt now gives Smith’s team time to promote their preferred candidate, presumably Sullivan, into place and make his mark on the community before a mayoral election.
Roger Garwood : Editor : firstname.lastname@example.org