Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Censure rejected

The story so far...

Council considered the report from the Code of Conduct Reviewer tonight (an account is given below).

This follows from:
  • The anonymous complaint dated 19 February 2010, see here and here and here
  • My response to the reviewer's letter dated 6 March 2010, see here and here
  • On 14 March 2010, the NSW Greens State Delegates Council supported my concerns, see here
  • In the week leading up to Easter I receive the "draft" CoC report and send in my reply (though not a single word of the "draft" report gets changed), see here
  • The CoC report to comes to Council on 20 April 2010 recommending censure (not a bad turnaround given Council’s meeting cycles), with councillors deciding to lie the matter on the table until after the result of the court appeal is known, see here
  • District Court decision on 27 April 2010, allowing our appeal against the decision of the magistrate and quashing the decision of the magistrate fining each of us and dismissing the charge without conviction pursuant to section 10 of the crimes sentencing procedure act 1999.
  • The report comes back to Council on 1 June 2010, see below

From tonight's council meeting...


1 Council find Councillor Osborne has breached clauses 6.1(c) and 6.2 of Council’s Code of Conduct, in that he was arrested on 20 December and subsequently found guilty of trespass.

2 Council censure Councillor Osborne for that breach.

The Lord Mayor asked the General Manager to clarify the Court's decision in relation to Councillor Osborne's appeal.

The General Manager indicated that the outcome of the appeal was a "section 10" as circulated to Councillors by memorandum this afternoon.

The Lord Mayor further asked the General Manager to outline "section 10".

The General Manager read from the memorandum circulated to Councillors on 1 June 2010:

• that the court found Councillor Osborne guilty of the offences but directed that the relevant charges be dismissed under section10(1)(a) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) (Act); and

• the Court quashed the monetary orders.

The Lord Mayor sought further clarification as to whether a charge was recorded as the charge had been quashed by Court.

The General Manager referred Council to the wording in the memorandum dated 1 June 2010.

Councillor Osborne made reference to a letter the General Manager received after the commencement of the Economy and Civic Assets and Governance Strategic Themes Committee meeting, which started at 5.31pm on 1 June 2010, from the Environmental Defenders Office Ltd regarding the circulation of the memorandum dated 1 June 2010 and subsequent possible breach of section 13(1) of the Criminal Records Act 1991.

Councillor Osborne said the letter stated that through circulation of the aforementioned memorandum the General Manager may have aided and abetted in the commission of an offence.

Councillor Osborne stated that in his view the General Manager's memorandum dated 1 June 2010 and the Code of Conduct reviewer's report contained factual errors

Councillor Buman moved an extension of one minute.

Councillor Osborne be granted one extra minute.

At the end of his address, Councillor Osborne asked the Lord Mayor if he would take the vote by division and indicated that he would leave the Chamber.

At this stage of the meeting, Councillor Osborne left the Chamber.

The motion was then put to the meeting and the Lord Mayor called for a division which resulted as follows:

For the motion: Councillors G Boyd, A Buman, B Cook, B Luke and S Sharpe
Against the motion: The Lord Mayor, Councillors N Nelmes, S Claydon, T Crakanthorp, M King and M Jackson

The motion was declared defeated on the division of five votes to six votes.

Councillor Osborne returned to the Chamber at the conclusion of this item.

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