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Greens councillor shakes his tail feather

Clarence Valley’s only politically-declared councillor, Greg Clancy, couldn’t resist a quip, aimed at his fellow councillors, when he led and achieved his goals while debating conditions of consent for a proposed large lot residential subdivision at James Creek.

“Thanks for the [congratulatory] comments,” he said at the end of debate at the August 25 Clarence Valley Council meeting (CVC).

“Sorry to shock you all, I hope everyone’s hearts are okay – it not easy being green, not easy being an ecologist and being on council and seeing all the destruction around the valley.

“We are losing a lot of our biodiversity; that’s why I’m so passionate … I’m over the moon that we can have a development with no cats.”

At the council meeting, Cr Clancy moved a motion that included a number of conditions – not previously nominated by staff at the previous week’s committee meeting – allowing a variation to the 1.5 hectare minimum lot size for one of the lots (1.354 hectares), addressing the design of the underground power reticulation, speed limit, drainage swales and batter construction, bond payments and prohibiting the keeping of cats.

Cr Karen Toms was puzzled.

“This appears to me, to be very difficult to digest in a short period,” she said during questions on the matter.

“Are you a planner, did you get assistance?”

Cr Clancy quipped that it was all his “own work”.

“These are changes requested by the developer and I worked with staff,” he said.

Cr Toms: “So these changes are at the request of the developer?”

Cr Clancy: “All except the last condition, condition 58 [banning cats].”

Cr Deborah Novak asked; “Are we legally able to tell people they can’t keep cats?”

Environment, Planning & Community director Des Schroder said: “We put 88b [restrictions] on dogs; I can see no reason why we can’t put one on cats, policing is another issue, but, yes, you can do it.”

Cr Karen Toms said: “[Cr Clancy] is more often than not negative towards certain developments, but he has done a wonderful job here – while I love cats … they should be kept inside all of the time. “Thanks Greg, for listening to the developer and putting in changes to make this a better development.”

During debate, Cr Arthur Lysaught likened Cr Clancy’s impending unanimous support to a Blues Brothers moment.

“It’s a pleasure to support your motion today,” he said.

“I’ve learnt something today; I might take your book home to learn about your little [endangered] animal [raised by Cr Clancy during debate].

“I’m waiting to see you dance like Elwood [Blues] did.”