Above: This rear window parked opposite Eurobodalla Council Chambers reflected the opinion of many of the 120 community members who heard their council refuse to accept Climate Change instead calling it a 'variable and changing climate'. A Troglodyte riding the beast would have been an apt addition
Above: A solid turnout of community and speakers to today's Council meeting At the August 13th Eurobodalla Council meeting Councillor Pat McGinlay sought to have the Climate Change recognised by his fellow councillors. A simple task to recognise Climate Change, ensure mindfulness of Climate Change where able within the Shire, and to open up opportunities to engage, inform and include the community in solutions. Prior to debate there were informed, engaged speakers during Public Forum who contributed their concerns. Sadly due to this council's recent determination to no longer live stream, video record or archive Public Forum the only way to hear the presentations, the questions and responses was to be present. Fortunately 120 members of the community did just that packing the chambers to overflowing. Councillors first heard from Kaeleigh Peard, an eleven year old student from Sunshine Bay Public School, next came Dr Michelle Hamrosi, Alison Waterford of SHASA and Catherine Reilly of SAGE. It can not go unmentioned that following the exceptional presentation by Year 6 student Kaeleigh Peard, delivered succinctly, precisely and passionately the gallery erupted into applause. Most disappointingly however the Mayor turned something so refreshing, so brave and pure, into a sourness that brought the wrath of the gallery when she asked them to desist from applauding speakers, suggesting that to allow clapping would also see her having to allow booing and jeering. It was clear from the loud boos and jeers she received for this ruling that she was 'way out of order' with those in the gallery mumbling "if she can't differentiate between appropriate response and inappropriate response she should not be in the Chair". --------------------------------------------------------- "For some of you, the motions may not represent the ideology of the political party you align yourself with. To this we ask you to reflect on the oath or affirmation you took when you were elected, which said in part, that YOU WILL ACT IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AND IMPARTIALLY CARRY OUT YOUR FUNCTIONS. In addition, the Local Government Act requires you to CONSIDER THE LONG TERM AND CUMULATIVE EFFECTS OF YOUR DECISIONS ON FUTURE GENERATIONS ...... "We suggest that when you make your decision on this matter, you should consider the COMMUNITY RESPONSE AS REFLECTING STRONG SUPPORT for all three motions." So.Councillors, did you uphold your oath? Cath Reily of SAGE to Eurobodalla Councillors Aug 13th 2019 ** ---------------------------------------------------- Following a half hour break between Public Forum and the Council meeting the councillors returned to debate the Notice of Motion and sadly, it all came to little as the Motions of Councillor McGinlay fell one by one to the vote of Clrs Innes, Pollock, Constable and Tait. It was clear from the start that Councillor McGinlay's Notice of Motion was going to fail as the numbers were stacked against him. With Councillors Brown and Nathan absent this left only McGinlay and Mayne to support the motions against the counter debate offered by Pollock, Constable, Tait and Innes with Clr James Thomson an unknown. Even with the support of Clr Thomson on the first issue of at least recognising Climate Change their three votes combined were defeated by Innes and her three other cohorts who were hell bent on ensuring the words climate change were not included in any motion adopted. In an obviously orchestrated move, the Innes team came to the chamber with two prepared alternate motions and knowing they had the vote numbers they managed to sabotage the day by adopting their own two motions. The amended motions are little but 'Business as Usual' and managed to do little but "blow smoke up their own arse offering nothing new to give the community any hint that they give a damn", as observed by one long time Council observer who said the motions adopted sought only to state what Council has done for themselves rather than indicate any intention to extend their actions to include the wider community in terms of advocacy, education or inclusion. The general feel by those who witnessed what unfolded was that "Council is in a total disconnect with its community and does not have the capacity to listen to it, to respect it, nor to engage with it other than in a cold, indifferent way that inevitably and embarrassingly ignores it." "To see an eleven year old girl present to Council today and have not a single question asked is a disappointment and to see the Mayor close down applause for an eleven year old and tell the gallery they were not allowed to applaud speakers shows she has lost control". In defiance the gallery continued to challenge the Mayor's self-created ruling by applauding the other Public Forum speakers and also going on to applaud the debate elements offered by Councillor McGinlay and Councillor Mayne.
Above: Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes offers her roundup of today's meeting
Video via Eurobodalla Shire Council
** apologies to Cath Reilly for having incorrectly published this initially attributing the quote to Dr Hamrosi