A motion to reverse a decision to not allow councilliors to participate in negotiations surrounding voluntary planning agreements, has been knocked back.
The motion was raised at September’s Gunnedah Shire Council meeting, after the decision not to allow councillors to take part in negotiations was passed at the August council meeting.
Cr Owen Hasler put forward the motion with the support of councillors Moses and Fuller.
“I have moved the rescission motion to allow councillors the opportunity to take part in another workshop hosted by an expert,” Cr Hasler said.
“I don’t think it is right for us to implement a policy such as this, that we don’t all totally agree on.
“So I think a workshop would be a great chance for us to discuss the issue, hear from an expert and move forward to eventually make a decision regarding the official policy.”
Cr Murray O’Keefe spoke against reversing the decision.
“I think it sends a bad message to rescind our previous motion,” Cr O’Keefe said.
“We have debated this at great length on a couple of occasions and reached a decision.
“In my opinion we have had enough time to make up our minds and we have reached our decision.
“I was in favour of the original decision and I can assure you that I still am.”
The council’s general manger Eric Groth said any legal advice or a workshop would need to be free of charge.
“This would be an opportune time for me to remind councillors of what sort of representation falls within the code of conduct,” Mr Groth said.
“A workshop such as the one that is being proposed would have to be free of charge. Otherwise any proposed workshop would have to become a resolution to be passed during a council meeting.
“That would fit within council’s code of conduct and the office of local government’s code of conduct.”
Following discussion, councillors cast their vote with the motion defeated by a margin of six votes to three.
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