Special Meeting: Ombudsman Victoria report recommendations
Seven items were tabled, relating to recommendations in the Ombudsman Victoria report into "the alleged improper conduct of councillors". The items specifically related to matters such as declarations of gifts, access to (Council) information, councillor conduct (behaviour), and meeting procedure.
Each was forced through the agenda, as the old guard of new (and some not-so-new) Labor-aligned councillors read in turn their carbon copy statements about 'unity-of-the-future' and the 'somewhat unfortunate' past.
The TV media were there, the local papers, Council's entire Media team, and Liberal MPs David Davies and Jeanette Powell amongst others. Some councillors were so bold as to declare, hand-on-heart, that none of the present councillors are Labor-aligned. (A partial admission that Brimbank Labor is on the nose for good reason.) Presumably 20-odd years of stacking and factional shuffling had folded with the previous council, the memory of their own recent (and now documented) deals for upcoming mayoralty conveniently forgotten.
I put forward a motion that motions (including recission motions) should not to need to be seconded in order to be brought to the chamber. If this were the case back when the Sunshine Pool was being used as a political football, we would not have a Sunshine Leisure Centre to speak of today.
I also proposed that motions put to the chamber that are not seconded also be recorded in the minutes. To which Cr Guidice and the Mayor Cr Atanasovski replied such unseconded motions need no air time in the chamber as it would cause embarrassment to the Council. I can only take this to mean that any view that is not consistent with theirs ruling faction is an embarassment. How soon they forget that those 27% of Harvester who had hoped that I would champion their interests in the chamber deserve also to be represented.
It's very easy to be drawn into the cynicism (about community participation, about party politics and the like) but we really needn't be. Brimbank is bigger than the Labor Party. And change in the Brimbank political landscape is occuring, whether they're paying attention or not.