Twist in Melville defamation stoush

A DEFAMATION action launched by a Melville councillor against the city’s mayor took another twist this week when the mayor apologised to his colleagues for letting slip a frustrated expletive which was picked up by a ‘hot’ microphone and broadcast publicly.

The council’s ordinary meeting had wrapped up last Tuesday, but the cameras and microphones were still recording when mayor George Gear made his colourful remark about a colleague.

It was heard by a member of the public who was still tuned in; they later filed a complaint with the city which prompted Mr Gear’s apology.

While Mr Gear didn’t name Cr Clive Ross, who filed a writ of summons in the Supreme Court on August 10 alleging the mayor defamed him a year ago, the Herald understands Cr Ross has emailed councillors taking umbrage at the incident.

Cr Ross’s writ alleges the defamation occurred at an elected member engagement session about August 23, 2022, but also refers to a letter headed “Outcome of Preliminary Inquiry” and an email sent to councillors and CEO Marten Tieleman.

• Cr Clive Ross


Mr Gear denies he defamed Cr Ross, but says the pair have agreed not to let the issue get in the way of council business.

“I was at a consultation event for the Esplanade POS project along with councillors Mair and Ross,” Mr Gear told the Herald.

• Melville mayor George Gear

“I took the opportunity to have a discussion with Clive.

“I told him that as far as I was concerned we must work together for the betterment of the city notwithstanding the issue between us.

“I also told him that I was putting it to one side and as far as council business is concerned it is business as usual.

“We agreed on this approach.

“I have been in public life for 17 years at the level for the federal government and as the mayor of the City of Melville at the local level.

“In those 17 years, I have interacted with thousands of people and have always treated them with respect.

“This is the first occasion that any legal proceedings have been commenced against me.


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