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PUB TEST: Should Council minutes tell the whole story or just the story of the victors

The Council meeting of February 9th 2021 got off to a fiery start with three councillors refusing to adopt the minutes of the previous meeting citing that they were not a true record of the meeting and that a critical Point of Order that led to a Motion of Dissent was not recorded. Nor was it recorded that, once raised, the Chair of the meeting refused to recognise both the Point of Order and the Motion of Dissent.

Both the failure of the Chair to undertake his obligations under the OLG Model Code of Meeting Practice as well as the Eurobodalla Council Code of Meeting Practice is one matter however, more importantly, the fact that six councillors, after being advised of the omission, discussing the omission at length prior to the Council meeting, and having a full hour to review the video to determine the extent of the omission and the validity of concern around the omission decided instead to ignore the evidence presented and vote to adopt minutes that they knew to be an incorrect record. Those watching the live streaming at a nearby cafe voiced their amazement and bewilderment suggesting the councillors who ignored the facts presented were either "sycophantic numpties or just dumb as ducksh*t". Watching the video of the December 17th 2020 it is more than evident that Councillor Mayne called a Point of Order that the Chair refused to recognise nor hear. Councillor Mayne then clearly called a Motion of Dissent that the Chair refused to recognise or hear. In doing so the chair violated both the Office of Local Government and Eurobodalla Council Model Code of Meeting Practice. While the Mayor may advise Councillor Mayne to raise a Code of Conduct complaint against the Chair for his actions a second Code of Conduct complaint should now be raised against the Council for their failure to record the minutes of the meeting accurately as required by the Local Government Act. 375 Minutes

(1) The council must ensure that full and accurate minutes are kept of the proceedings of a meeting of the council.

The Council might respond advising that they need do only the minimum required under the Model Code however in this instance a Councillor has requested that the dismissal by the Chair on December 17th 2020 to a Point of Order and then a Motion of Dissent be recorded. Once again, doing the least expected of them, Council will stand by their Code and say they have complied. 19.2 At a minimum, the general manager must ensure that the following matters are recorded in the council’s minutes: (a) details of each motion moved at a council meeting and of any amendments moved to it, (b) the names of the mover and seconder of the motion or amendment, (c) whether the motion or amendment was passed or lost, and (d) such other matters specifically required under this code. It is clear by the evidence of the Minutes that Councillor McGinlay's Point of Order is recorded, as is the Motion of Dissent by Councillor Constable however there is no record of the fact that an unarticulated Point of Order and Motion of Dissent were raised and unheard in contravention of Council's own Code of Meeting Practice. As such Councillors Mayne, McGinlay and Constable refused to accept the minutes as a true record of the December 2020 meeting.

These are the rules as per: ESC Code of Meeting Practice MODEL CODE OF MEETING PRACTICE for Local Councils in NSW 2018

Note that the rules are clear as to what MUST happen

Tuesday February 9th 2021 is a day where six of our councilors knowingly agreed to endorse a fable.

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