Lei Parker - 13 February 2018
Lei Parker made the below comments at the Ordinary Council Meeting 13 February 2018.
I am here today to request an explanation from Council and Councillors of a very concerning anomaly that has been discovered in the Council meeting agenda and minutes of April 26th, 2016.
Councillors have been provided a copy of this presentation to ensure they can see exact extracts of the minutes and agenda as supporting evidence.
The meeting of that day listed a confidential Property Matter CON16/008.
The description of CON16/008 does not “sufficiently identify the item in order to inform the public that that item will be dealt with at the meeting”. (as per the OLG’s letter below)
As evidenced by the agenda of the day and by the Live Streaming archive CON16/008 was the last item on the agenda, where Council moved into Confidential to return soon after, announcing their determination and also revealing that it was a Property Matter relating to an easement on George Bass Drive.
Being the last item on the agenda the live streaming archive, not surprisingly records the Council meeting was then closed.
It has now been discovered that while the published minutes recorded CON16/008 another Confidential matter was dealt with during confidentials. The minutes record CON16/009.
Also of concern is CON16/008 which records in the minutes that the property matter was in regards to George Bass Drive there is NO detail provided for CON16/009 in the minutes other than it was a Property Matter with a file number of E12.6442 as a reference.
Councillor review of the agenda and live streaming will confirm there was NO mention at all of Confidential Item CON16/009, including any reference of it being raised as Urgent Business.
By Council’s own Code of Meeting Practice:
I seek an explanation today from Council as to why the minutes of April 26th 2016 are NOT a full and accurate record of the proceedings of that day. By whose authority was item CON16/009 added to the minutes?
It was also noted that the minutes of April 26th, 2016 were adopted at the following Council meeting on May 10th, 2016. By Council’s Code of Meeting Practice it is required that the Chair then sign the minutes, as prepared by the General Manager, as being a true record of that meeting.
Did the Mayor of the day, Lindsay Brown sign the minutes of April 26th 2016 as being true and correct knowing that they were not; having participated in voting on CON16/009 during Confidentials?
Of further concern is to discover that the file reference given for the CON16/009 Property Matter is E12.6442, the reference number Eurobodalla Council uses on matters relating to the Mackay Park precinct redevelopment.
Councillors note: As you can see in the extract below of the 29th August 2017 agenda clearly associates the project and the file number.
The date of the Council meeting of CON16/009 was April 26th 2016, three days before Council exchanged contracts on the sale of the Batemans Bay Bowling Club land, which is part of the Mackay Park precinct.
By his own admission, in a Council Media Release dated April 29th, 2016 titled "Council buys Batemans Bay Bowling Club site" then mayor Brown stated:
It now appears that the "Confidential Meeting" referred to by then-mayor Lindsay Brown was the Council meeting where Property Matter CON16/009 was dealt with, in confidential, behind closed doors, as recorded in the minutes.
Can Council please offer the community an explanation as to how CON16/009 came to be minuted yet was NOT part of the Council meeting, as evidenced by the agenda and by the Live Streaming archive?
Of continuing concern is the fact that this is not the first time we have had to discuss the way Eurobodalla Council deals with Confidential Matters
On the 13th of July 2017 the Office of Local Government wrote to the General Manager following a complaint that the Agenda of June 13th, 2017 did not sufficiently identify two Confidential Matters pertaining to the General Managers contract; listing them only as Personal Matters.