Coast councillor calls for apology after SSM 'discrimination'
LIVINGSTONE councillor Adam Belot is calling for a public apology to the shire's residents after he says council got it wrong in handling the same-sex marriage debate.
Cr Belot said the recent decision for Livingstone Shire Council to reject a community groups request to display their message in support of the current definition of marriage, having previously supported the LGBTIQ community, was inconsistent and "discriminating".
In the wake of the latest council meeting, Cr Belot said council had refused a proposal to change the light colour configuration at Wreck Point to pink and blue, representing the no vote.
Following a meeting with Capricorn Coast Equality Alliance and Livingstone Shire Council in August, an informal decision was made to display the lights on rainbow to raise awareness for marriage equality in Yeppoon.
Cr Belot said councillors had no involvement to approve the change of lights as Councils Inclusivity/ Equality Policy allowed for "any community group" to be supported.
"Essentially LSC has never voted on anything at all to do with this subject," he said.
"No motions, no debate, no resolution absolutely nothing to clarify where council stood in terms of allowing lights for either view point."
When approaching council with an 'urgent business' request to change the lights in representation of the no vote, Cr Belot says the attempt was rejected and any attempt of the item was "finished, terminated, extinct."
He claims council was not considerate with its Corporate Plan, Inclusive Community Policy and Anti Discrimination Act which includes several codes such as facilitating "diverse aspirations" and "valuing all people in the community in order to develop an integrated, equitable community".
Cr Belot said when the opposing group asked to colour the lights symbolic to their beliefs, no action had been taken which he believed was out of step with the council's Principles of the Local Government Act.
"To support one group and not the other is contrary," he said.
"In simple terms, people want leaders who are 'fair dinkum'."
Cr Belot said to ensure the system of local government was accountable, they must provide decisions which were consistent with the local government principles and a democratic representation that was socially inclusive.
Cr Belot is moving a Notice of Motion and Questions on Notice to be included in the next Livingstone Shire Council meeting on October 31.
Previously, Mayor Bill Ludwig clarified there was a discussion among councillors, not an official vote, about the matter.
Although Cr Belot said "any suggestion that LSC is neutral in the space is misleading," Cr Ludwig said the majority of councillors, during that discussion, reaffirmed that council's position should remain neutral.
"Cr Belot is entitled to express his personal opinion on this matter," Cr Ludwig said.
"The Notice of Motion will be listed for consideration at council's next general meeting."