Mandurah councillors have carried a motion in support of the City’s chief executive officer, Mark Newman, after Canning MP Andrew Hastie criticised him over the government’s plan to trial drug testing of welfare recipients in Mandurah.
Mr Hastie released a letter Mr Newman wrote to politicians detailing the council’s opposition to the trial.
The motion, which accused Mr Hastie of “inappropriate attacks”, said Mr Newman’s actions were part of his duties as chief executive officer of the City.
The council condemned Mr Hastie and “recorded its support for the chief executive officer in his performance”.
The motion was moved as late and urgent business by councillor Fred Riebeling, a former Labor member of parliament.
Mr Riebeling said Mr Hastie’s comments were “disgraceful”.
He said Mr Hastie’s comments had “damaged our CEO for something council ordered him to do”.
“I can’t believe a person in the position of Mr Hastie would do something of this nature,” he said.
Mr Riebeling said Mr Newman’s behaviour was exemplary and called on other elected members to stand by the chief executive officer.
Mr Hastie said the council’s motion proved his point.
“This is a council aligned with Labor,” he said.
“That’s why they oppose the Centrelink Mandurah drug testing trial, even though the City of Mandurah drug tests its own employees.”
Councillors Shannon Lawson and Caroline Knight also spoke in support of the motion.
Ms Lawson said Mr Hastie’s actions weren’t appropriate and said councillors should back Mr Newman 100 per cent.
She also condemned the politicisation of the upcoming council elections.