Confusion surrounding the City of Gosnells mayor’s medals was finally cleared up at council this week after more than a month of questioning from a member of the public.
At Tuesday night’s council meeting when councillor Olwen Searle asked the mayor to reply in words of one syllable “yes” or “no” whether he had the Australian Police Medal, Mr Dewhurst said he did not have the medal.
“I always thought I had the Australian Police Medal, but it was the National Police Medal,” he said. Gosnells Going Forward chairman Leon Walker first questioned Mr Dewhurst at the May 8 council meeting about his LinkedIn profile, which stated at the time, that he was awarded the Australian Police Medal in 2004.
On public record at the May 8 meeting, Mr Dewhurst responded to Mr Walker’s question saying “well I certainly didn’t get them from Serpentine Jarrahdale swap meet Mr Walker”.
He went on to further state that Mr Walker was “barking up the wrong tree” and that he had the Australian Police Medal, issued by the West Australian Police Department in 2004, as well as a further three medals, one for Police Bravery, a National Service Medal and a medal for Diligent and Ethical Service.
At Tuesday’s meeting councillor David Goode asked the mayor five questions about his recent behaviour and asked that he produce his medal and all other qualifications, so that the matter could be put to rest.
Later in the meeting, a motion proposed by Ms Searle was met with a long discussion by a number of councillors.
The motion asked for the City of Gosnells Honour Board to be updated to include the post-nominals “APM” to Mr Dewhurst’s name to reflect his qualification.
Ms Searle said she was not concerned whether Mr Dewhurst would want the post-nominal on his name badge or his business cards, but the honour board should be updated to ensure that the city’s history was preserved for posterity.
Ms Searle withdrew her motion and in closing said she was extremely disappointed in the mayor.
After the meeting, Mr Goode told The Examiner he was very disappointed in several of the mayor’s answers to his questions and that the whole matter could have been resolved weeks ago with a simple yes or no to Mr Walker’s question.
“There was no need for silly games and brinkmanship,” he said.
“I trust and hope the mayor will be more forthcoming and clear in the future as we have a responsibility to the public to be upfront and honest.”