“Pause the Cultural and Civic Centre” – Minister of Local Government

The following is a link to an interview Ray Hadley had with NSW Local Government Minister, Shelly Hancock, on TripleM Coffs Coast via 2GB this morning.



In the interview the Minister said she believes that the Coffs Harbour City Council needs to pause the Cultural and Civic Centre (CCC) project. To hear the interview click on the link above.

UPDATE – 27-4-20 AT 1.25 PM; The following is based on a transcript of the above interview.

In the interview Ms Hancock slammed Cr Knight’s actions, and those who voted with her, at last Thursday night’s Council meeting as being “foolish and rash”.

The Minister was particualrly critical of the Mayors criticism of Coffs Harbour State MP Gurmesh Singh and the letters he wrote to Councillors and to Planning Minister Rob Stokes.

“I know she apologised and maybe she was hot under the collar but can I tell you something about Gurmesh Singh? I can say he is the greatest advocate for Coffs Harbour,” said Ms Hancock.

“His letter was not controversial. It was saying put a pause on this. And I agree with him.”

Minister Hancock spoke of Coffs Harbour being clearly a community divided on the issue and she also questioned the Mayor’s ongoing use of her casting vote.

“If you have a casting vote you don’t use it unless to adhere to the status quo. That was always the case when I was on Council but again there is no rule against what she has done.”

“I am really concerned about it but I have no power to sack the Council. I have looked into all the allegations of impropriety but they have fulfilled all their legislative requirements.

“If I need to consider some legislative changes on this then I will do that” the Minister said.


Editors note: Coffs Coast Outlook has argued for some time now the Mayor’s continual use of her casting vote may be legal in strict black and white terms but that it also trashed hundreds of years of strictly observed convention – something Minister Hancock confirmed today. See; https://coffscoastoutlook.com.au/?p=32179

13 thoughts on ““Pause the Cultural and Civic Centre” – Minister of Local Government

  1. So will the Mayor scream ‘How dare she!” at Minister Hancock too?

    Let’s just read between the lines here; the penny is dropping to those who are better at reading tea leaves than our tone deaf GM and his four tame Councillors that this thing in its current form is about as popular as a pork chop in a synagogue to most ratepayers in Coffs Harbour. And as a result they are dropping none too subtle hints that they think the CHCC needs to pause, reflect, listen and adjust.

    Or no funding!?

    Are the GM and and his four tame Councillors capable of thinking along these lines? Their response will be very interesting. So far they have shown zero inclination to be responsive. Quite the oppositite in fact.

    At the next Council meeting Cr’s Amos, Arkan, Rhoades and Swan need to try and quash that travesty of a vote last Thursday evening. Force the GM and his four tame Councillors to defy the Minister.

  2. Fear not loyal comrades. The Minister doesn’t scare us! This is but a small bump along the road to our eventual glorious victory over those few 15 000 heathens who would not recognise culture if it spat in their eyes, or farted silently in the lift.

    Denise is made of sterner stuff than her ridiculous, pathetic, uneducated, moronic, absurd, stupid, dumb, (“. . . what did you say next, Karen?”) uncultured critics will ever believe. Our Great Lady will no doubt remember, and quote proudly, the inspirational words of the amazing British sufferingfrigate, Winsome Churchmouse, who gloriously proclaimed, as the hoi polloi set fire to her pyre in front of Westminster:
    “We will fight them in the foyer, we will fight them on the stairs, we will fight them in the GM’s office and we will fight them in the Mayor’s lavishly appointed salon. We will never surrender!”

    I know for a fact that Denise has already been greatly heartened by the several messages of support which have crammed her inbox during the last year.

    We Culture Lovers must not give in to dismay, or become disheartened. As those who oppose knows (poetic and pathetic license claimed) it ain’t over until the fat lady sings, and Madam Mayor is installed in her rightful place as the ever-merciful Queen of Coffs Harbour.

    I cry, “A pox upon the yobbos and all of their descendants, past and present!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  3. That is an absolute belting.

    And embarrassing. Embarrassing that Coffs is all over the airwaves like that. Embarrassing that four Councillors and a recalcitrant Mayor are ridiculously (literally) blind to the economic need, and the public need, to such an extent. And embarrassing for the four ’cause for pause’ Councillors who couldn’t prosecute the obvious case thereby inviting this unseemly external intervention.

    By the sounds of that interview, Coffs Coasters would gain national support for that class action idea (or similar). Pretty obvious we’re being shafted. Something has to give.

  4. Although, initially delighted to hear Hancock’s comments and her apparent turnaround from her actions (or lack of) of several months ago. Why was she unaware of Adendorff’s conflict of interest when many letters were sent to her office. Why use the excuse of the pandemic and Knight’s insults to only now intervene.
    Hancock considered the Council actions to proceed as “foolish and rash”. How can she justify not sacking a “foolish and rash” Council? If she can’t then the government should.
    Much more pressure needs to exerted onto the state government, otherwise, after the pause, we’ll be back to where we started.

    1. You’re right , John. The pressure needs to be at least maintained, and preferably increased, if we are to see an end to this farce. More Coffs ratepayers need to be writing to the Minister, (it’s very easy to do) seeking an inquiry, not just into Knight’s ethics and Adendorff’s behaviour, but into the whole sordid mess.
      Knight will not just lie down and let the state government foil her plans. Having become accustomed to wielding so much individual power, she has far too much to lose. It would be a critical error if we were to assume that the war is won.
      What we see in the Minister’s “intervention”, is only a minor victory in an equally minor skirmish. Despite this small success, the battle will still rage and the conflict will almost certainly take many more months to be resolved.

  5. An important milestone, but not yet a solution. Unless we have the benefit of a Public Inquiry spanning the past eight years, we will only achieve a band-aid solution. If you genuinely seek a long term solution, write to the Minister for Local Government today and press her for a Public Inquiry.

    1. Tom, I have learnt that just writing to this Minister Hancock is not enough. I and others write to the Premier’s Office, Planning, Gurmesh and the OLG. Hancock’s turnaround is due to others instructing her to intervene. Hancock is responsible for this fiasco to have gone on for much too long. Having a ‘pause’ isn’t enough, Knight and Addendorff should be sacked and the GM, at the very least, suspended in my opinion.

  6. The Mayor and GM’s positions are now untenable. When the NSW Minister for Local Government has been so scathing as to label council decisions as “foolish” and “rash”, as well as accusing it of financial incompetence, how can they possibly remain in their positions?

    And it didn’t take ‘lawyer’ Adendorff long to dive for cover by pleading ignorance of his alleged voting transgressions and lay blame squarely at the council executive (non-lawyers), who he claims ‘advised him’ that owning CBD properties didn’t amount to a conflict of interest, nor prohibit him from voting to progress the CCS.

    Off with their heads!

  7. In my experience lawyers are as cunning as shit house rats. Adendorff is a lawyer but I’ll let you draw your own conclusion.
    The average “person in the street” can pick conflict of interest a mile away. Adendorff must be claiming stupidity, as well as ignorance of the rules.
    Isn’t it so that, in law, ignorance of a rule is not considered a viable excuse for breaking that rule? When I am fined for speeding, having been genuinely unaware of the speed limit, I still earn the fine.
    If a lawyer stuffs up as comprehensively as he has, would you use his services as a lawyer?

  8. This is my comment back last year about Adendorff; ”

    September 13, 2019 at 12:27 pm-
    Watched the News last night ,about the allegations of corruption of “Mr Sidoti.” The sports minister faced a torrid NSW budget estimates hearing on Thursday when he faced a barrage of questions over allegations he breached the ministerial code of conduct. He stated more than 100 times that he had always complied with all his obligations of his position.

    Is this the same Umbrella Cr Michael Adendorff is using?

    Since then “Mr Sidoti” has been removed from that position.

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