Carter defends councillors
MAYOR Brad Carter has defended the way councillors have dealt with Margaret Strelow's bid to open a social cafe on the edge of Rockhampton's CBD and says the authority has been transparent throughout.
Answering allegations by businessman Ken Hay, Cr Carter says he's entirely confident an inquiry would find no case to answer.
In a written response he says: “As a citizen who may feel that any level of government has dealt with an issue inappropriately, Mr Hay is entitled to lodge a complaint with the Crime and Misconduct Commission and I would not try to interfere nor prevent his rights to follow this course of action.
I would naturally vigorously defend my role and the role of the council in our dealing with this particular matter.
“The decision that was taken by the council in relation to Mrs Strelow's application was debated and discussed at a full meeting in accordance with the requirements of the Local Government Act and the Sustainable Planning Act.
“This discussion took place with a full contingent of media present, including television cameras to ensure transparency and public accountability in relation to this matter.
In addition, Mr Hay was also offered the opportunity to make a deputation to this meeting, but he declined this opportunity.
“Mr Hay is incorrect in his assertion that a decision was reached in an earlier meeting.
“In this case, the council has adopted a resolution that has asked for additional information for consideration of how this application could be conditioned for an approval.
“In terms of democracy, the elected council makes the final decision and does not always rubber-stamp officers' recommendations.
“In order to prevent compromising council officers, it was determined to seek external independent advice in this regard to consider additional information to make a fully informed decision.
“This matter is not listed for consideration at the next council meting on Tuesday as the council is waiting on further information.