Cr Andrew Baker's motion to amend the minutes from a previous meeting was ruled out of order by the Clarence Valley Valley Mayor.
Cr Andrew Baker's motion to amend the minutes from a previous meeting was ruled out of order by the Clarence Valley Valley Mayor.

Tension fills air in chambers

TENSION was palpable during the first half hour of the most recent meeting of Clarence Valley Council at Maclean.

As Cr Andrew Baker read out a lengthy amendment, other councillors leaned back in their chairs, whispering among themselves.

"Is this a statement or a motion, councillor?" Mayor Richie Williamson interjected halfway through.

And later the Mayor questioned the relevance of what Cr Baker was saying.

"I don't really need the commentary councillor, just the motion at this point," Cr Williamson said.

Cr Baker was attempting to amend the minutes from the meeting that led to him handing in his resignation from the Environment Planning and Works Committee.

His central issue was why he had not been allowed to ask questions of council staff over planning ideas for McLachlan Park.

Cr Baker had wanted to ask questions before putting a motion on the floor, something meeting chair Cr Williamson was not prepared to allow.

In a lengthy motion, Cr Baker alleged this contravened local government regulation and the council's code of meeting practice.

Cr Williamson referred the issue to general manager Scott Greensill, who said amending the meeting's minutes raised legal issues.

Cr Williamson then ruled Cr Baker's motion out of order, leaving Cr Karen Toms with a question.

"Can someone just explain to me what's the procedure in determining what actually happened on that item; how are we going to determine what actually happened?" she asked.

To which the general manager replied: "There'll be a proper assessment done by myself and my governance team."



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