Only room for one Aboriginal rep
JUST how many people are needed to make up a committee was an equation that sparked considerable debate at last week’s Nambucca Shire Council meeting.
With seven positions allocated on the Nambucca River, Creeks, Estuaries and Coastline Management Committee, councillors were called to decide on the representative requirements of local Aboriginal groups.
Councillor Paula Flack said that out of respect for the Aboriginal community one member from each of the valley’s three land councils should be invited to become members of the committee.
Cr Martin Ballangary supported Cr Flack’s proposal.
“People don’t understand the cultural differences in the valley and so it is necessary to include people from each of the three land councils,” Cr Ballangarry said.
The mayor, Cr Rhonda Hoban, wasn’t going to be swayed.
“We don’t have any representatives from the valley’s three chambers of commerce and so I can’t support three more delegates for the Aboriginal community,” Cr Hoban said.
“Our issue with the last committee was that it grew to be so big that it was costing us $30,000 to $40,000 a year to run. That can’t be allowed to happen again,” she said.
Eventually it was resolved only one Aboriginal representative should be on the committee and that the constitution be reviewed to allow the committee or the secretary to invite other members from the land councils to address the committee.