Just one item for council meeting

The council meeting agenda for Wednesday, August 9 contains just one item to be heard in confidential session.

The matter is understood to relate to the code of conduct issue relating to councillors Robyn Bain and Russell Fitzpatrick. 

In a statement to media, council has said the agenda of council’s ordinary meeting on August 9 will focus to resolve a procedural matter in relation to a code of conduct issue.

“The move to resolve this issue on the 9th will allow councillors the ability to carefully consider without distraction, the agenda items for an additional ordinary meeting scheduled on August 16. 

“Media representatives are advised that the Code of Conduct issue will be discussed in a closed session (in line with the Local Government Act (1993)) however it may be moved back into open session.

“The open session will be live streamed as usual, and the media and community can attend,” the statement said.

The need for the confidential session was flagged by the general manager Leanne Barnes at the last meeting on June 28 and relate to the minutes of the May 17 meeting.

Minutes of the May 17 closed session, where code of conduct matters were discussed, should have included reasons why council did not accept the reviewer’s recommendations on Cr Fitzpatrick, but did not. 

The draft online version showed no mention of the reasons, but later, prior to resolution to accept the minutes, included changes.

This meant that the minutes had been altered between the first draft and their presentation to council in order to comply with the code of conduct procedures.

At the meeting on June 28 Ms Barnes moved to head off a potentially embarrassing issue relating to changes to the council minutes and said the matter would be dealt with at the next council meeting in August.

Ms Barnes said she had been advised that council needed to approve the changes to the minutes as a separate item and as they were not part of the original minutes had to be omitted.

However it was not before Mike Skitt, an ex-councillor and local representative of Cattle Bay Marina, had sought to raise concerns over the alterations to the minutes. Mr Skitt’s deputation to council was listed in the minutes, but late on Tuesday before the June 28 meeting council attempted to gag debate telling Mr Skitt his address would be disallowed.