Councillor survives investigation attempt


A Sydney deputy mayor who closed streets for his lavish wedding has survived a council motion to have his action investigated by the local government minister.

A Sydney deputy mayor has survived attempts to have him investigated by the minister for local government for unofficially closing down streets for his lavish wedding.

Auburn deputy mayor Salim Mehajer on Wednesday night survived a vote by Auburn City Council, 5 to 4, to have Local Government Minister Paul Toole investigate, Councillor Irene Simms told AAP.

Auburn councillor George Campbell moved the motion at a packed council meeting.

While the attempt to have Mr Mehajer investigated failed, the council fined him $220 for the street closure.

Apart from blocking a Lidcombe street Mr Mehajer also hired out four helicopters, while his fiancee Aysha travelled with a motorcade of motorbikes and luxury cars worth $50 million for the weekend wedding extravaganza.

In the lead up to the wedding residents received a letter saying the street in Lidcombe had to be cleared of all vehicles on Saturday or they would be towed at their expense.

Police say no approval was given for the entire road to be closed and they are investigating.

Ms Simms said the way residents were treated was embarrassing.

"People are very unhappy for being held up by traffic," she told AAP on Wednesday afternoon.

She brought a motion questioning the legitimacy of the road closure in Sydney's west, but said afterwards she did not think Mr Mehajer learned any lessons from the vote.

"We need to wait to see what happens with the police investigation and with Minister Toole," she told the Seven Network.

A spokeswoman for Mr Toole said a government representative observed Wednesday's council meeting.

The ABC reports councillor George Campbell was met with jeers by the public gallery when he told Wednesday's meeting the event caused "public disquiet" and "reeked of narcissism".

Some residents called for the council to sack the deputy mayor with nearly 3000 signatures on a petition which argues Mr Mehajer "treated the community with great disrespect."

Premier Mike Baird said he hoped Mr Mehajer and his wife had learnt from the experience.

Fairfax Media reports Mr Mehajer also downsized units in an under construction Lidcombe apartment block to increase his profits by $45 million.

But his development company Mehajer Group said the reports were misleading and false.

"The amendments to the Auburn Local Environment Plan (LEP) involved consultation with and approval from the Auburn City Council and Department of Planning and Environment and is part of the future urban growth proposals and design of the Lidcombe town centre," the group told the ABC.

Source AAP

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