Bellingen's new council gets down to business

THE new Bellingen Council met for the first time yesterday with thethree fresh faces - Bruce Cronin, Ian Coe and Sean Tuohy - beingwelcomed into the fold.

The election of the deputy major was a straightforward affair withonly two nominations, both of them for Cr Kerry Child. Cr Child waselected for a 12 month term.

The election of councillors to council committees was more complicated.

Cr Gordon Braithwaite strongly opposed a recommendation for councillors to chair the committees.

“Committees have always elected their own chairperson, why are we taking that away?” Cr Braithwaite said.

Cr Sean Tuohy said he had no problem with seeing someone well-versed in procedures facilitating meetings. The motion was passed.

Cr Kerry Child was extremely unhappy with the recommendation to disband the Environmental Levy Advisory Committee.

“It is vital the community have input into examining these projects and not only staff,” Cr Child said.

CrIan Coe said the role could be incorporated into the responsibilties ofthe proposed new Environment Advisory Committee. This motion was passedand five community positions for the new committee will be advertisedsoon.

The possible disbanding of theArts/Cultural and Local Heritage Committees due to their preceived lackof direction was postponed.

Cr Mark Troy's recommendation for a report proposing new structures and charters for both was passed.



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