Council Matters

At last Tuesday’s meeting Councilor Constable raised as a matter of urgency a motion to rescind the Recreational Open Space Strategy 2010 recommendation that the Albert Ryan Park toilet blocks be demolished. While he was addressing the council the general manager at timestamp 56:26 indicates she has something to pass on to the mayor who leans in and listens – it is very obvious that the General Manager told the Mayor that this was, in her opinion, not urgent business. The Mayor says “ Councillor, I don’t believe this is a matter of urgent business” and then closes him down advising that “prior to this you could have bought a notice of motion” and that when the ROSS comes back to Council he could put in that he wanted to rescind the recommendation at that time. We then see Councillor Constable asking for clarification. During this time there is communication between Lindsay Brown and the General Manager where Lindsay Brown clearly is pressing for Councillor Constable to be closed down. It is very clear that there is a power play here. It was urgent business. There had been a Public Access presentation that morning, long after the agenda with Notices of Motion were printed off, that specifically spoke of concerns, very real and very immediate concerns that there was a current direction under the ROSS 2010 to demolish the toilet block. The presentation requested, over and over again, that Council reconsider its intentions. With Council’s pig headed history of doing as it wishes contrary to the wishes of the community and with a well remembered history of the nighttime demolition of Blandford House and that Council have very clearly indicated it wants the toilet block removed and the land sold there was, in the mind of the community a need to gain an URGENT assurance that the direction to demolish be rescinded. Any further delay might see Council staff “undertake the direction of Council” as directed by the Ross 2010. In these days of contempt and mistrust by the community of Council such an action would come as no surprise. It won’t be too long and the Mayor will have a point of order raised against her reminding her that she is meant to represent the community. Councillor Constable was more than polite in not reminding the Mayor that she happily accepted an Urgent item from Councillor Pollock on February 14th requesting that, following a presentation that morning during Public Forum which request Council name the Corrigans Beach Push Park as Variety Park, that this was URGENT, according to the Mayor "due to the time constraints around this decision I will determine this is a matter of urgency". The presenter last Tuesday morning of Save Albert Ryan Park Committee who clearly advised Council that an existing endorsed action to demolish a toilet block gave considerable angst to the community who needed assurity it would not happen until all processes were carried out and the community consulted was clearly not as urgent as adopting a name for a playground. However in this situation, under the Code of Meeting Practice, “the business proposed to be brought forward is ruled by the chairperson to be of great urgency”. Mayor Innes (or was it the General Manager) deemed it not to be irrespective of the fact that a member of the public representing a committee believed it to be of such urgency as to present at public forum and that a councillor, elected by the community to represent the community, also believed it to be of urgency. The intent to rescind the recommendation was a controversial one as it once again exposes the flank of a Council who are hell bent in closing down this toilet block, decommissioning the land as a public reserve and then selling the land to developers, as has been clearly indicated. To rescind the motion overturns this endeavour and would return the reserve to the community, initiate restorative works on the toilet block to bring it to satisfactory and stimulate the community to add further to the amenity with benches and even historical information and community owned art installations. Well done to Councillor Constable for exposing the flank of their continued intent to see this reserve gone and well done for representing the community who spoke so well on the day and presented their concerns.