In what can only be considered a hostile reception three speakers this morning presented to Council's Public Forum session.
Chaired once again by Deputy Pollock it appears that the Mayor has already disengaged herself from her Mayoral duties being present at Public Access, Public Forum and Council meetings.
Also absent from the Public Forum session were Councillors Brown, Nathan and Tait.
It was apparent by the absence of these three councillors, who had been present just half an hour earlier during Council briefings, that they too have no desire to sit and listen to the community engage and make presentations.
Two of the presenters today represented the organisations of Broulee Mossy Point Community Association and the non-political group A Better Eurobodalla. Also presenting was myself, not as editor of The Beagle, but as a resident and ratepayer.
With the assertion now being echoed behind closed doors that the presenters today were "lying" with their own agenda the chamber was already toxic when the doors opened at 9:30am. Attending the Public Forum was limited to three speakers, three members of the gallery and two other media.
The presentations delivered raised the same issue. The legality and the current status of the land known as The Triangle in Broulee.
One after another the presenters questioned the Council's response to Councillor Mayne's Question on Notice seeking clarification around the land that the community understands to be community. There were several issues raised following further questions being asked by Councillor Mayne and these were noted by him to take to the Council Meeting at 11am to seek clarification.
When the item came up in the Ordinary Meeting, and when Councillor Mayne began to progress through the issues raised that the community wished to have clarified he was summarily closed down by an aggressive chair and an equally abrasive Director of Planning.
While we heard the same rhetoric over and over from the Director as if via a cracked record the fact of the matter of the current status can be answered by a single piece of evidence.
In 1997 the land was clearly Community. The Adopted Plan of Management lists it as Community. That Plan is on Council's website as an official document.
In 2001 the land was still community. Once again we know this via the same document described above that notes it was printed in June 2001.
Council insists the land is Operational as a report in November 2003 states it is.
Council were challenged today to provide evidence.
In order to prove the land is Operational, as they insist, they MUST provide evidence that the land was reclassified to Operational between June 2001 and November 2003. Such evidence would require a report and a motion of Council following a call for public submissions.
The community are now saying "Council. Show us the evidence."
The onus is not on the community to prove the land is community as it already has that proof. Prior to 2003 the land was, by Council's own records, classified as Community.
By Councils own records the land was also classified Community because they endorsed a Landcare request to erect two signs that stated it was community for the purpose of advising the community that the land was community.
Mr Usher today attempted to discredit a speaker's evidence by raising that the computer system referred to in their presentation, saying GenaSys, was actually Limes.
Mr Usher will now be invited to provide Councillors with a definitive description of what Limes software captured and the role it played in the Council's GIS and then explain how the Limes database was associated with the Reserves Database via PINs and the Council's financial system at the time. It is suggested that if Mr Usher, as he states, wasn't at Council at the time, then he may have difficulty.
Irrespective of the bluff, the huff, the smoke, the mirrors, the legal opinion and the looks of exasperation by a Director under the spotlight Mr Usher and his staff have one thing to do.
Provide the evidence of when the land became Operational. There MUST be a report and it must have been adopted and a change made to the LEP.
Simple. If they can't provide this simple evidence then the land is Community.
Audio: Ordinary Meeting of Eurobodalla Council Date: July 27th 2021 Debate during QON21/005 Land clearing at Broulee