Last night Coffs Harbour City Councillors (CHCC) were asked to consider a number of motions, put on the agenda by the General Manager and Executive staff, to approve a number of confidential tenders for the controversial proposed new Council Chambers and Cultural Center (CCCC) in Gordon Street.
The tenders relate to design and demolition work both which in turn relate to the DA for the CCCC project overall.
This DA for the CCCC was the subject of 874 submissions to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment who are ultimately responsible for approving or denying the application.
The Department is yet to make a decision on this DA and Outlook understand a number of objectors have recently written to the Planning Minister, Rob Stokes, asking for public hearings to be held on the DA application and prior to any decision being made on it.
The proposed project was also the subject of a petition to State Parliament which raised almost 15,000 signatures in opposition to the new CCCC.
The proposal has divided Councillors four/four on a number of occasions with Mayor Denise Knight using her deciding vote to progress the project.
Interestingly the Mayor has recently been reported as now having declined to do this, saying a tied vote means the motion is lost based on Council’s code of conduct.
Despite this the Council was yet again tied 4-4 on the motions with Councillors Amos, Arkan, Rhoades and Swan voting against the motions and Councillors Adendorf, Ceccato, Knight and Townley voting for them.
As a result, and in spite of what Mayor Knight has been reported as saying about tied votes recently, the Mayor once again cast her deciding vote in favour of passing the motions.
Public speakers were allowed five minutes each to speak for and against the motions. Johnathan Cassell, the Greens candidate for Coffs Harbour at the last State election, spoke in favour of the motions while Gai Anderson and Ann Leonard spoke against them.
Several Coffs Coast Outlook comments posters attended the meeting last night attended last night and have posted their views of what happened last night on this site already.
Those comments can be found here; https://coffscoastoutlook.com.au/are-our-elected-council-representatives-and-senior-staff-being-fair-dinkum/#comment-2709
The following is an interview Moffey of TripleM Coffs Coast had with Cr Rhoades about last night’s meeting;