Letters

An explanation please Mr Mayor

Ed,

I believe our Mayor Cllr Jim Simmons owes the CV community an explanation as to why he disallowed Cllrs Clancy and Novak’s questions during question time at Council’s ordinary meeting 26/2/19, Removal of Aboriginal Scar Tree (13.004/19) (Independent 6/3/19).

Both questions were directed to the GM through the Mayor and related to the judgement 21/12/18 by Preston J of the L&E Court, who found the CVC convicted of an offence against s86(1) NP&W Act 1974.

It is true Mr Mayor that s352(1) “A member of staff of Council is not subject to direction – by a Cllr as to the content of any advice or recommendation made by the member”. But sub, sect (2) “This section does not prevent the – Mayor from directing the GM of the Council to provide advice – – “.  Once the Mayor asks for that advice, the GM is bound to provide that advice (s335(f)).

Further, I suggest Cllr Williamson’s Point of Order (POO) as being trivial nonsense. He was reported as suggesting “the report and the questions should relate to the advice and sentencing of the court orders”, but Cllr Williamson offered no authority for his suggestion.

The Officers recommendation – “That Council receive the report – and its contents be noted”.

I respectfully suggest the officer’s report clearly includes Preston J’s judgement. The report states “The Chief Judge of the L&E Court handed down his decision on 21/12/18. The full judgement can be read at – – – with the sentencing orders at paragraph 130 of the judgement”

Accordingly, Cllrs Clancy and Novak’s questions related to the judgement that was included in the Officers report and their questions were totally relevant.

Furthermore, I suggest Cllr Kingsley’s POO was also trivial nonsense. He was reported as saying, “We were asked to note a report. We are not delving into the details of the discovery issues”. With respect, when could it be more appropriate for a Cllr to ask questions on the judgement which is included in the Officers report for Cllrs to note, than during question time at Council’s ordinary meeting?

Cllr Baker was reported as saying this matter has been before a court” The community is well aware of that as it could be responsible for having to pay for the fine. It is entitled to know why. Consequently, I suggest Cllrs Clancy and Novak are well within their rights to ask their questions.

The Mayor’s refusal to allow their questions warrants an explanation.

Ray Hunt, Yamba

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