Trying to sort out PHACS facts

MARK Graham wants to know how the Coffs Harbour Draft Priority Habitats and Corridors Strategy (PHACS) was removed from the Coffs Harbour City Council agenda earlier this month.

Councillor Graham used Matters of an Urgent Nature to raise the question at last Thursday night’s council meeting.

He asked: “Which resolution of council authorised the removal of item L10/4 (the Draft PHACS) from the business paper of the ordinary meeting of May 13, 2010?”

Council general manager Stephen Sawtell said it was the role of council staff to prepare reports and decide if they wished to remove a report to council that was deemed inadequate at the time.

Cr Graham said he would read from and table a note from the Department of Local Government on meeting practice. The mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, interrupted Cr Graham, saying he was trying to determine if the matter actually was of an urgent nature and Cr Graham did not determine this.

Cr Graham responded that the matter was urgent because of the time frame involved in adopting the Standard Local Environment Plan.

He then read and tabled the DLG meeting practice note from August 2009 which stated that once the agenda for a meeting has been sent to councillors, an item of business should not be removed from the agenda before the meeting.

The note said if the item was not to be dealt with, the council should resolve to defer the business to another meeting or resolve not to consider the matter.

Mr Sawtell said he would take the question on notice.

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