Unplugged But Not Unrecorded…….
Port Stephens Council has unplugged their Webcam, and they have threatened TRRA members that they suspected were recording proceedings on their iPhones, however a video recording of the circus that ensued when the Mayor decided not to grant public access to a former Councillor, who had been criticized by other Councillors at a previous meeting for her work as a volunteer, has appeared on the Newcastle Herald website: HERE
Unfortunately it does not show the Mayor and his group walking out as she tried to address the meeting anyway, just the Council administrator gesticulating at the security guard to get her out of there.
TRRA Inc is well aware of the Council’s Code of Conduct that gives the Mayor total discretion over who is granted public access to address Council, but we also reserve the right to call the Mayor to account when that discretion is used to silence reasonable debate. The sensible thing to do in this case would have been to grant public access to this volunteer group at the deferred meeting held on 5 March, when the review recommendation was on the agenda so that balanced decision making could take place. Pre-empting a cowardly strike in the local paper, making a decision without hearing the other side of the story, then refusing access or any further debate sounds typical of the attitude of the majority of this Council and its Mayor. Any wonder they don’t want you to see what is going on.
TRRA is not going to take sides in this matter, we just think it is an appalling way to treat our volunteer organisations so watch the video, HERE is the statement from the aggrieved former Councillor, now that you have the information, you be the judge.
Read Examiner Story 12 March HERE
Read Examiner Story 26 March HERE
Read Newcastle Herald 27 March 2013 article HERE