At the Ordinary Council Meeting of 31st July 2018 Mr Andrew Bain spoke on the Public Forum addressing Councillors and presenting a petition of 600 signatures seeking to "Save Last Area of Remnant Bush on Public Land in Broulee Village" Mr Bain spoke with a passion as you will hear in his presentation below. When it came to questions from the Councillors things became a little robust when the Mayor basically warned the Broulee community that the integrity of their petition had been sullied by someone signing twice. Of interest to those in the gallery and to a few engaged councillors was that the Mayor revealed she had personally taken the time to screen through the six hundred plus signatures and had found a duplication. The Mayor indicated that such a duplication was not advised as it would be deemed as a method to falsely bolster up the numbers. Mentioning this to Mr Bain he correctly noted that, had there been any duplication (and he knew of none) with someone intending to bolster the numbers they might use another name and address and not the same one. It was considered by all who observed from the gallery that the Mayor had chosen to nitpick rather than to accept the grave concerns that were being very clearly voiced in the petition being tabled. It is important to note that, as a councillor, she is required to only ask questions of presenters however, yet again, she used her position as chair to launch into a preamble of rhetoric and take the opportunity to dress down a presenter to then fumble finally with a very dubious question of "Could you take this message (the duplication of signatures) back to your community" which is barely a valid question and more an instruction. It is due time that her fellow Councillors bought her to task on this style of platforming that is so often thinly veiled as a question. Be sure to watch the discussion that unfurls after Mr Bain's presentation with points of order and observe the Mayor failing to deal with what is noticeably challenges from her own Councillors who are calling her to task on her meeting protocols. What is apparent from all of this is that Council has indicated it will go over any petitions with a fine tooth comb to discover a means to discredit them, even if it requires the Mayor herself to wade through 600 signatures in search of Dear Old Dot or Forgetful Sam's signature appearing twice. The Mayor also made it clear that she putts little stead in signatures from those outside of an area saying that she "noted many came from Broulee". What the Mayor fails to recognise howeveris that nearly 40% of those home owners in Broulee live elsewhere. Are they not allowed to sign and provide their own residence address of Wagga Wagga, Albury, Melbourne, Sydney, Mawson or Cootamundra - when did they sign.... school holidays perhaps?
Video: Ordinary Meeting of Eurobodalla Council Date: 31st July 2018
Andrew Bain of Broulee Presenting to Public Forum: PETITIONS PET18/002 Save Last Area of Remnant Bush on Public Land in Broulee Village