Last-Minute Vote Fails to Derail CZMP

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BYRON SHIRE COUNCILLORS. Back row: Councillors Sol Ibrahim, Alan Hunter and Duncan Dey. Middle row: Councillors Rose Wanchap, Chris Cubis and Basil Cameron. Front Row: Deputy Mayor Paul Spooner, Cr Diane Woods and Mayor Simon Richardson.

BYRON SHIRE COUNCILLORS. Back row: Councillors Sol Ibrahim, Alan Hunter and Duncan Dey. Middle row: Councillors Rose Wanchap, Chris Cubis and Basil Cameron. Front Row: Deputy Mayor Paul Spooner, Cr Diane Woods and Mayor Simon Richardson. Photo: Christian Morrow

The bid by some Byron councillors to delay the controversial Coastal Zone Management Plan going to the NSW State Government for approval has failed with council staff deeming the motion to re-commit to the vote as having expired at the close of Wednesday’s meeting.

The CZMP has been forwarded to the Minister.

The controversial Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) for Byron Shire was in doubt after a dramatic last minute vote at Wednesday’s council meeting failed to re-commit to approve the plan.

The meeting closed with the vote on the draft plan remaining open and would have most likely be re-voted on at council’s next meeting on July 14.

The re-commitment vote was moved by Concillor Duncan Dey after three councillors- Paul Spooner, Sol Ibrahim and Chris Cubis, left the meeting early.

The vote to agree to a re-commitment was then tied at 3-3 with Mayor Simon Richardson using his casting vote to carry the motion.

The three remaining pro-rock wall councillors – Alan Hunter, Rose Wanchap and Diane Woods, then left the chamber so there was no quorum and the re-commitment vote could not take place.

Councillor Dey said, “We waited 10 or 15 minutes to see if they would return and when they did not, we sought advice from the General Manager and duly closed the meeting.”

He stands by his actions saying, “We have warned them continually (about leaving meetings early) and yesterday we did what we said we would do.

Councillor Sol Ibrahim said he was waiting for advice as to the legality of the re-commitment vote.

“Its an abrogation of their duties by those councillors responsible for the (re-commitment) vote,” he said.

“Their rescission and re-commitment votes were nothing more than attempts to delay, postpone and interfere with the proper function of Council.”

Cr Dey admits that the move was a delaying tactic and the next council meeting will vote to adopt the CZMP.

“If you were locked in a prison and the guard walked off and left the door open. What would you do? You would escape naturally.

“We sat in the chamber for the past three years and watched poor practice over this issue so the backers of this CZMP cannot expect us to take this lying down.

“The CZMP as it stands hands over the beach to private interests so they can have walls instead of the community having a beach.”


Source article:

The Byron Shire News

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