At the last scheduled meeting for the current council last night a motion was put to withdraw the Coffs Harbour City Council from sale pending the receipt of a scoping and feasibility report on the Coffs Harbour Entertainment Venue (CHEV).
By The Editor
The motion, moved by Cr Denise Knight and seconded by Cr Tegan Swan, and reproduced as a screen shot from a computer below, was passed unanimously.
This means the Chambers, or Rigby House, cannot be sold before a new council is voted in on 4 September. So the proposed sale of these two properties becomes a matter for the new council to consider and ultimately, of course, how any cultural center in Gordon Street finally eventuates.
This is certainly a turn around from where the council was heading and came as quite a surprise to many, me included. Having said that though it is a result that is to be welcomed.
Council did vote 4-4 on the Westpac loan which was then passed on the Mayor’s casting vote.
However, we understand that a rescission motion may have been lodged after the meeting last night. If this is correct then an extraordinary meeting will have to be scheduled prior to 4 August when Council goes into caretaker mode.
The waste issue – has it become a big waste of our money?
Also last night Cr Sally Townley threatened to call the NSW Ombudsman to investigate the CHCC’s management of waste if council management did not deliver material asked for in a notice of motion (NOM) tabled last night by Cr Tegan Swan and herself.
Management had said in a written reply to the NOM that the information requested would be “impossible to deliver” and would require expending many staff resources.
Cr’s Townley and Swan called for more information on the issue including a list from 2018 of all negotiations, offers, tenders and current contracts between Council and Biomass, the EPA and also with the Bellingen and Nambucca Councils. An earlier CCO story on this can be found here; https://coffscoastoutlook.com.au/is-council-saying-waste-management-motion-of-notice-is-to-hard-to-comply-with/
Also it has come to public notice that on legal cases with Handybin and Biomass alone Council has spent $4.36m on legal costs.
This comes from a confidential briefing note (below) that Mick Raby presented on 26 May last. See; https://coffscoastoutlook.com.au/council-has-spent-4-36m-on-legal-costs-on-waste-management-cases-in-three-years/
CCO understands that there may be a number of issues with the amounts Mr Raby states were claimed by the two contractors and is investigating this further.
We can say though, as but one example only, that it is our understanding the amounts claimed for the ‘China Sword’ and Litter Bins may never have proceeded to arbitration.