City of Rockingham councillor accuses City of ‘tainting’ Pt Peron motion

City of Rockingham councillor accuses City of ‘tainting’ Pt Peron motion

A MOTION seeking in principle support from Rockingham council for Pt Peron to be used as a coastal park was withdrawn because it was deemed tainted.

Councillor Katherine Summers presented the motion at the City of Rockingham’s planning and engineering services committee meeting on April 16.

Before debating the motion at council Cr Summers sought clarification, asking why it had been changed and why another agenda had been inserted.

She was interrupted several times by the chair of the meeting while trying to ask questions; she said she was being shut down before pulling the motion and leaving the meeting.

Cr Summers said her motion was about preserving the area for the public.

“My motion was essentially to preserve Pt Peron/Cape Peron for all people, in perpetuity, and for the council to take this community wish to the State Government,” she said.

“My motion was ‘hijacked’ by another agenda and if it had been passed, opened the door to something other than the intention of the motion.

“I was shut down because I had embarrassing questions to ask – most importantly, why was the usual reject or accept option of my motion removed?

“Essentially, (council would have voted) on the officer’s recommendation, not my motion.

“(City officers) didn’t want my motion to get through, so they inserted a whole other agenda into my motion.

“I couldn’t risk it, and had absolutely no choice but to withdraw my motion, on a very important issue.”

Mayor Barry Sammels denied the motion had been changed.

“No, Cr Summers’ notice of motion was not changed,” he said.

“(Councillors can question) on the condition that the questions do not lead to debating the substance of the report.

“Cr Summers appears to have been dissatisfied with the officer’s response and recommendation, and the chairperson’s ruling was that Cr Summers was debating the item.

“The chairperson correctly asked that a motion be moved before allowing Cr Summers to continue.”

Cr Sammels said Cr Sumers was free to move her motion but there was no obligation for the officers recommendations to be moved.

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