CITY of Swan councillor Peter Lyndon-James has applied for an extended leave of absence from council, without pay, as he embarks on a Senate campaign.
On November 12, Cr Lyndon-James sent an email to all councillors, asking them to grant him a five-month leave of absence from November 22, 2018 until May 7, 2019.
Cr Lyndon-James has previously said on Facebook he would embark on an eight-month election campaign across WA in a bid to land a seat in the Federal Senate as an independent.
In his request, Cr Lyndon-James said he would return to Perth once a month, flying in on Wednesday morning and flying out on Thursday morning, but could not guarantee his presence at meetings.
He also requested he not be paid during his five-month absence.
“Whilst I intend to be in Perth, I will not always be able to guarantee my presence and for this reason I believe it be in the best interests of the Rate Payers that I request a Leave of Absence without pay so that I am not abusing the rate payers or council’s generosity,” he wrote.
“For those wondering how I plan on funding my campaign; at this stage, I am funding it personally from the sale of my home as well as a go fund me page.
“I don’t expect to win but I feel that I must give it my best, 100%.
“I would like to please ask all my fellow councillors that regardless of how you feel about me personally I would like your support.
“I’m not doing this for me.
“Even if this costs me all I own I must give it all that I have.”
Cr Lyndon James will miss five council meetings, narrowly avoiding a Local Government law that requires councillors who intend to miss six or more council meetings to have their absence signed off by the Local Government minister.
While Cr Lyndon-James’ absence will begin on Thursday November 22, Echo News understands he has not yet confirmed his attendance at next Wednesday’s ordinary council meeting.
Mr Lyndon-James’ GoFundMe campaign has currently raised $1,125 of his $250,000 goal.
City of Swan acting CEO Kym Leahy said the longest leave of absence on record was granted due to pregnangy, with Cr Natasha Cheung granted a leave of absence from from August 14, 2010 to January 24. 2011.
Ms Leahy confirmed that in that instance, ministerial approval was sought and given.
She added that there was nothing preventing Cr Lyndon-James from attending council meetings or agenda forums during his leave of absence.