THE Central Eastern Business Association (CEBA) business awards night will go ahead after its funding application went before the City of Bayswater council three times.
The council did not have enough members left in the room to vote at its June and July meetings after several councillors declared a “financial interest” and left the room because they accepted tickets to last year’s awards night.
After the June meeting, CEBA moved the awards’ date from August to September to wait for funding.
Last week, the council finally formed a quorum – six councillors – in order to approve $15,000 for the event.
Councillors Alan Radford, Terry Kenyon and Stephanie Coates received tickets last year and left the room.
Crs Coates and Kenyon said they unsuccessfully sought an exemption from the Local Government Minister to remain to vote.
Cr Chris Cornish said he did “not want to be here in this room” to vote, but the Local Government Act prevented him from leaving the chamber.
He is a member of CEBA and his wife is deputy president.
“I don’t believe this passes the (public interest) test. I obviously support CEBA… but don’t feel right to be here,” he said.
Cr Michelle Sutherland said CEBA was disappointed by the time taken to make a decision, “but that’s life in this new transparency age”, she said.
Mayor Barry McKenna said there had been ongoing issues with declaring gifts.
Cr Dan Bull said it was “fantastic” they finally were able to discuss the request.
He said the awards night was a celebration of east metropolitan businesses.