MELVILLE mayor Russell Aubrey has had an interim violence restraining order issued against councillor Nick Pazolli.
A shocked and distraught Cr Pazolli told the Herald he had no idea why the VRO was issued—it was served June 5—and he was remaining relatively tight-lipped on the advice of lawyers.
“Mayor Aubrey has chosen to commence a legal process by issuing an interim violence restraining order against me,” he says. “I have lodged an objection in the magistrates court to have the order cancelled and am awaiting notification of the basis of order and a hearing date.”
As he is not permitted within 10 metres of the mayor, Cr Pazolli is unsure how it might affect his duties as an elected member.
Council-gazers say bad blood between the pair is painfully obvious to anyone sitting in the council chamber.
The Herald understands Cr Pazolli was recently ordered into council HQ to meet with an organisational development manager—an employee with no jurisdiction over an elected member—because the “council” was “concerned” by some councillors’ performance.
It’s understood the mayor was present, and that he and Cr Pazolli became embroiled in a heated argument.
Council CEO Shayne Silcox confirms “an incident occurred at the city’s offices” resulting in the mayor’s application for the VRO.
Dr Silcox confirms a “facilitator” has been engaged to conduct workshops for councillors, designed to “support optimal performances of their roles”.
It follows recent decisions by elected members on big development applications that have not toed the line of officers’ recommendations.
by BRENDAN FOSTER