State MP Danny O’Brien (Danny) – (who was “happy” to back the South Gippsland Shire (SGS) Council dismissal) played a prominent role at the 21st June 2019 official opening of Long Jetty.
Mayor Cr Don Hill (Don), Crs Frank Hirst and Andrew McEwen (all still officially in office at the time) also attended, yet were denied any role in the ceremony.
CEO Tim Tamlin, also on his last official day in office (even though he had already departed), led proceedings as Master of Ceremonies. One could mount an argument that protocol should have been followed and the Mayor be allowed to perform the opening ceremony, rather than Tim Tamlin.
Fair treatment? I don’t think so! Danny had a good deal to say along the lines of ‘the healing needs to start now’ – admirable words – but pushing aside the Councillors wasn’t the right beginning.
Also, continuing on from the heated Facebook argument with Don (following disparaging personal, name calling, comments in Parliament) as happened on the sidelines at Long Jetty, wasn’t helpful.
Regarding the exchanges between them – the issue requiring clarification by Danny, is he ignored the question which goes to the heart of why the Opposition supported the Government recommendation to dismiss the SGS councillors: “I can only assume that you have not read the Council response to the Monitor’s report since Minister Somyurek has so far failed to post it as he said he would do”.
My concern is: If the defence case is not even considered, justice cannot be seen to have been done (the ‘Show Cause’ response has still not been released by Minister Somyurek).
Don’t jump to the conclusion I have any particular allegiance to Don. I had never had communication with him before the dismissal, other than emails sent to all councillors.
Since the dismissal, I have had communication with Don, as I’ve had with several ex-councillors (and the Administrator).
Don admits to mistakes, but, from what I’ve seen in this debate, I have to say Don has stuck to the facts, whereas Danny has relied on unproven allegations. It matters not how strongly those allegations are supported by others.
Given the ‘Rules of Evidence’ didn’t apply to the Commission of Inquiry, repeating unproven allegations doesn’t make them true – especially so when none formalised their complaint at the time of the alleged offence.
I’ve heard nothing from Danny that convinces me he was right to dump democracy – the cornerstone of our society – which he has sworn (and gets paid) to support. Not good enough Danny! Don underwent a re-training course, perhaps its Danny’s turn?
John McCombe, Leongatha.