LOCAL government minister Paul Miles has been asked to sack Fremantle councillor Sam Wainwright following his arrest at anti-Roe protests on Wednesday morning.
Beaconsfield resident and former council candidate Andrew Luobikis has written to Mr Miles saying Cr Wainwright breached a section of Fremantle’s code of conduct which orders elected members to uphold the law.
On Wednesday morning around 9.30am Cr Wainwright, his Melville counterpart Tim Barling and two others were arrested after chaining themselves to fencing around the route of the controversial Roe 8 highway extension.
While the other three were charged with ignoring move-on notices, Cr Wainwright also copped a charge of trespass. It carries a maximum penalty of one year in gaol, and if found guilty he could potentially face disqualification from sitting on council.
Cr Wainwright’s bail conditions also ban him from going near the Roe 8 protest camp for a month.
He told the Herald other than a bruised wrist, he’d come out of the ordeal ok and would discuss the ramifications of a trespass charge with lawyers. But he defended the right of councillors to join protests.
“I think it is valid as a councillor to take part in protests on a non-violent basis,” he said.
“I was doing it as a personal position, not on behalf of the City of Fremantle, although the city has taken an official position against Roe 8.
“With the support from people there on the day and on social media, I feel that it was the right thing to do,” he said. Cr Wainwright says he hadn’t started the day expecting to be arrested, but felt action was needed when a bulldozer arrived.
But Mr Luobikis says the code of conduct is clear and Cr Wainwright’s actions unacceptable.
“This type of behaviour is unbecoming of the position he holds to represent the community,” says Mr Luobikis.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK and STEVE GRANT