On April 27 I attended, as a ratepayer, the meeting of the South Gippsland Shire Council to witness the voting on a Motion put by Crs McEwen, Hill, and Kennedy that the council asks the Victorian Government to exempt coal seam gas mining and fracking within the South Gippsland Shire.
Bear in mind that, at the most conservative estimate, all the surveys conducted in this region (both private and government-sponsored), show that well over 85 per cent of the people who live in this region do not want coal seam gas exploration, CSG mining, or fracking!
So the “will of the people” is quite clear on the matter!
Sadly, at that council meeting, I did not see a democratic process where the council showed the willingness to do what the vast majority of the ratepayers wanted.
What I saw was hubris, a complete disregard for the will of the ratepayers, overt animosity by some councillors towards the movers of the motion, and bullying behaviour by at least one councillor that I considered most inappropriate.
I saw one councillor use his time not to speak against the Motion, but to launch personal attacks against his fellow councillors.
And the Mayor let him do it until Cr Kennedy tried to stop the process, but was over-ruled by the Mayor in the face of some quite vocal comments from the outraged public gallery.
Well, the democratic process failed yet again as what appears to be a solid block of arrogant councillors put their personal antipathy towards their fellow-councillors ahead of doing what we, the ratepayers, want them to do.
I very strongly urge all of the shire’s ratepayers to try and attend a Council Meeting to see just how some of these elected councillors actually conduct themselves.
I was appalled, and I think you would be too.
And, perhaps consider that if these councillors are putting themselves above what we want them to do, then it is high time we vote them out.
I am a firm believer that politicians are supposed to do want we tell them, not the other way around.
Kim White, Mirboo North.