Mayor’s lawyer suggests Cr Pazolli shift chairs to be further away
Melville mayor Russell Aubrey has moved to block a variation to his violence restraining order against Cr Nick Pazolli that would’ve allowed them to communicate at council meetings.
The mayor took out the interim VRO after a heated meeting between the pair at council HQ.
On Monday they fronted Perth magistrate’s court with their lawyers. Mr Aubrey’s solicitor, Fulvio Sammut, argued against the variation.
He said it wasn’t necessary as Cr Pazolli could simply switch seats with another councillor to ensure he remained at least 10 metres from the mayor.
Another hitch was that under standing orders, all statements made at council meetings are through the chair (Mr Aubrey) and the VRO prohibits Cr Pazolli from communicating with the mayor. Mr Sammut suggested standing orders could be suspended to “allow him to address the whole council without addressing my client”.
The merits of the VRO—why it was granted in the first place and why Cr Pazolli is apparently such a dire threat to the mayor’s safety—was not heard by the court. Magistrate Wheeler would not hear the variance application on Monday as the court hadn’t yet officially notified Mr Aubrey’s lawyer of Cr Pazolli’s application for the variation.
Instead the whole case will be heard July 15, just in time for the next full council meeting the next day.
Mr Aubrey said “no comment” when we asked to speak to him about the case. Following the hearing, the Herald loitered like a paparazzo outside the court to snap a photo.
He lingered in the lobby and eventually his daughter came out, spotted the Chook, and headed straight back inside. She came out again two minutes later, approaching the Herald and claiming he’d “already left”.
“He left five minutes ago,” she said, at precisely the same time as we spotted him trying to make a swift exit.
At Tuesday’s council briefing Mr Aubrey entered from the rear of the chambers, avoiding his usual route that’d take him past Cr Pazolli’s desk.
He moved at the start of the meeting that standing orders be suspended to allow Cr Pazolli to not breach the VRO when he spoke.
by DAVID BELL