New Bush Telegraph Independent Stories since 1987
COMMUNITYSUSTAINABILITYENVIRONMENTPOLITICSCOUNCILARTSCLIMATE CHANGE

Order in the Chamber- Next level Madness in the Shoalhaven

June 25, 2020

by Joanne Warren

There has been much said about the motion that was to be put forward to council on Tuesday night with a groundswell of condemnation against Watson and his team. An email from Council was circulated before the meeting, stating that due to an overwhelming response to Items CL20.131 - Notice of Motion - Recognition and Apology to Police and CL20.134 - CL20.134 Notice of Motion - Statement from the Heart, the submissions would be listed on their webpage to provide and ensure Councillors are provided access to each of them in full to read and consider before the meeting.

Sixty-four submissions were made against Watson’s motion, and 20 in favour of the Statement from the Heart submission.

It is difficult to imagine a more toxic environment than the council chamber in which to work and Mayor Amanda Findlay’s professionalism was the highlight of the madness witnessed at the meeting. Team Watson is well practised in manipulation and deceit and by presenting a new motion that focussed entirely on the Green’s, he had hoped to garner back community favour with a sleight of hand. The Mayor responded appropriately and quickly shut down the new motion following meeting protocol so that only point one which called for a show of support for police was under discussion.

It was clear that this motion and the ensuing debate was a way to deflect attention from the racist and ignorant commentary from Greg Watson during the week in the media. After a long and unnecessary debate Councillors voted unanimously to support the police force and extended this to emergency service workers and frontline workers with a number talking of personal connection to people within these services. 

Shoalhaven residents must demand better from the block of Shoalhaven Independents who continue to railroad the true business of council with motions such as these and we must insist that meeting protocols are adhered to. There are too many instances from this meeting that illustrate the ruthless and rude manner in which the block of conservative councillors conduct business with little regard for community concerns.

 We need to take heart in the collegial support shown by the council minority who clearly understood the hurt and pain caused to our community and who stand up to the Shoalhaven Independents again and again.

Shoalhaven City Council meeting 23 June 2020

A superhuman effort from the Mayor calling out the racism, sexism and bullying behaviour and acknowledging the impact on the community. Not surprisingly Councillor Guille wound up his grandstanding and aggressive performance by mocking the Mayor’s appeal for a united front to focus on council business and reflect the wishes of the community. Instead, he showed an utter lack of understanding of the depth of pain to the Aboriginal community and a simplistic view of the debate by calling on the council to agree to disagree. 

Counsellor Guile, Watson and team would do well to reflect on the words of James Baldwin if we are ever to move past yet another low point in Shoalhaven City Council history. 

“We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.”

This article is in the following category/ies:

  • Categories

  • Archives

    3 comments on “Order in the Chamber- Next level Madness in the Shoalhaven”

    1. ABC Illawarra interview with Greg Watson the following morning . Greg Watson stayed that he had done more for the local Aboriginal community than anyone else and that it wasn’t an Aboriginal flag that he burnt all those years ago.

    2. Well said Joanne. Thank you for writing this! Its comforting to know that the community can see the smokey mirrors

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Join us

    For only $20 (per annum, $10 concession) you can become a member of The New Bush Telegraph Incorporated. Membership to an incorporated association shows your support and gives you voting rights at annual general meetings, access to volunteer opportunities and special member events.

    FIND OUT MORE

    Sign up to become a subscriber – it’s free

    Keep up to date with all the news from The New Bush Telegraph and be notified of new articles when they are published. It’s the best way to stay in touch and never miss out on those important local issues. You can unsubscribe at any time.

    * indicates required

    Donate to the New Bush Telegraph

    The New Bush Telegraph is a not-for-profit community initiative.

    Support us to grow and reach our goals by considering making a donation.

    COMMUNITYSUSTAINABILITY
    ENVIRONMENTPOLITICS
    COUNCIL
    ARTSCLIMATE CHANGE
    ABOUTLETTERS TO THE EDITORCONTACT

    Archives

    #125 Spring 2019#120 Winter 2018#109 Spring 2015#108 Winter 2015#107 Autumn 2015#106 Winter 2010#105 Late Spring 2009#104 Winter 2009#103 Autumn 2009#102 Summer 2008#101 Winter / Spring 2008#100 Late Autumn 2008#99 Late Summer  2008#98 Summer 2007#97 Spring 2007#96 Winter 2007#95 Autumn 2007
    New Bush Telegraph - Independent Publishing Since 1987
    Privacy PolicyTerms & Conditions
    Copyright © New Bush Telegraph Incorporated ABN: 42106732072
    linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram