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One rule for some reveals much about Council meetings

To the Beagle Editor,

Last Tuesday’s council meeting saw Madam Chair Innes in full flight, firstly remarking sternly to Lindsay Brown ‘thank you councillor, you’re not in the chair’ and putting him right back in his place.  Clr Brown, of course, is well aware of the Code of Meet Practice and reminded Madam Chair of that fact.

She then ramps it up to full throttle in her aggressive comments to Clr Mayne at about the 22.30minute mark, tuning off her mic to take a ‘cheap shot’ at Clr Mayne.  Continuing in her tirade, she suggests that perhaps Clr Mayne would like to take a few minutes so that he could ‘calm down’.  Mayne usually cops this type of behaviour from the ‘chair’ but this time, he stood up to Madam Mayor calling a ‘point of order’ on her, and rightly so.   ‘Have you finished Councillor’ asks the Chair.  ‘Have you’ retorts Clr Mayne giving it right back to her and good on him.

Then at the 39 minute mark, Clr Mayne, noting the extreme weather conditions with a ‘severe’ fire risk status, seeks as a matter of urgency ‘could we get an update on the Rural LEP status especially in light of the RFS concerns’?  As of yet the Council have NOT revealed to the public what the concerns were of the RLS in regards to Council's obstinate stance of ignoring their objections. In the end the Minister sided with the RFS however the public is none the wiser of what changes have been allowed and if there is now increased risk to property as a consequence. In regards to the valid question by Clr Mayne, Madam Chair Innes raised her gavel and ruled..... ‘Not urgent business, sorry Councillor’.  A bush fire threat with a category of ‘extreme’ is not urgent Madam and clarification for the public of what the new changes are to reduce rural lot size is Not Urgent ? Only in her opinion.

So there you have it, Madam Chair did not believe it to be a matter of urgency to discuss the extreme fire danger rating in the Eurobodalla Shire as it relates to the Rural LEP.      Yet she brings a matter of urgency, via a Mayoral Minute, to the meeting in March 2018 regarding removal of a 50m pool in Batemans Bay without any community consultation at all. 

It appears that Madam Chair needs to check what constitutes a ‘matter of urgent business’ and that which does not.

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