I was undisciplined enough to express that anger at two groups tonight: firstly I directed it at the chop-till-you-drop mob at Town Hall.
I was told by their leader that to tell them to go where the sun-don’t-shine is ‘defamation’. Poor darlings. I should buy them a dictionary for Christmas. Good on them, though – their side won. You have to hand it to them for their passion. And they didn’t swear like I did: well done.
They voted NOT to accept the offer of an independent arborist to carry out a process of independent expert assessment. The offer was made by the Premier of NSW and yet it was rejected by all the councillors sitting on what many would view as the conservative side of the chamber. Two of these councillors are members of the Liberal Party. What an affront to the Premier.
The local Liberal MP addressed the councillors before tonight’s extraordinary meeting. He told them the offer of assistance from the state was real and was truly independent, I hear. One of the councillors said there was still an issue of the Council’s insurance company possible not covering the risk of the trees. I believe he was told that wasn’t the case but he still brought it up in Council and alleges he truly believes it’s a problem.
Two Councillors were absent from the EGM on the biggest issue on Newcastle in the last two (or more) years). Cr Connell and Cr Crakanthorpe. What a shame they couldn’t be there.
Cr King pointed out that they had made a decision to remove the trees in July this year and they should stick to that.
I think when that comment was made some people had still held the slim hope that Cr King may have supported independent assessment. Perhaps this was because of the way he voted at the last meeting. That hope faded once he opened his mouth.
The Lord Mayor reminded the chamber that they had voted to keep the trees in December and had expressed regret that they had not stuck to that decision. Crs Osborne, Nelmes and Claydon were all eloquent in their speeches in support of the motion for Premier O’Farrell’s offer – the community thanks them for trying to keep our most beautiful street and reassess the alleged risk.
And who was the councillor who is alleged to have pushed over a little lady in her 70s? NBN has footage so it will be interesting to see if it’s aired.
Sad night. None of us at our best. Thanks council management for bringing us to this point and thanks to councillors for helping them.
Voted against the Premier’s offer:
After the vote was lost residents lined the hall to witness the councillors leaving the chamber. We even had a bit of a sit-in at one point.There was quite a delay in the councillors’ departure: as I wasn’t in the chamber I don’t know why but I hear that at least one resident challenged a Councillor for the way he voted and he defended the evidence base he’d used. What reports has he been reading?
Bizarre. The delay in their departure could also have been because of calls of ‘shame’ from us in the hall and expressions of disgust at what these men had just done.
I’m taking suggestions as to what motivated their vote more – dislike of John Tate or solidarity with council officers. Both excellent reasons for removing a million-dollar stand of healthy, beautiful trees that add to the green corridor, provide habitat for vulnerable species and thousands of birds, cool the CBD, contribute to carbon sequestration and feed our souls.
Is Brisbane looking good as a place to live or what? Who’s going to take up the challenge of publishing maps of how to get around this town without ever going within view of Laman Street? And bags not watching all those poor animals and birds being killed.