Saturday, December 29, 2018

New Norfolk golf results - Thursday and Saturday

New Norfolk Golf Club

Saturday 29/12/2018 4BBB stableford:
G. Heron/L. Heron  46 c/b, A. Watts/T. Morgan 46, P. Wilton/D. Armstrong 44 c/b, B. Hall/W. Hodge 44 c/b, S. Gray/B. Crowley 44, A. Lowe/ M. Minton 43c/b.
N.T.P: 3rd T. Banks, 6/15th W. Hodge, 8/17th A. Lowe, 11th G. Heron.
Superpin: A. Lowe.

Thurs 27/12/18 Unofficial twilight stableford:
Division 1: A. Richardson 23, F. Carmichael 22 c/b, I. King 22 c/b, I. Welsh 22 c/b, L. Dittman 22.
Superpin: B. Coy.

Geoff Goss' life of service

Geoff Goss (picture from
Rotary Club of Claremont
Facebook page).
THERE was big attendance at the funeral last week of respected local community member Geoff Goss. Born in 1936, he died at the New Norfolk District Hospital on December 17, aged 82.

Before retiring, the father of four worked for Telecom (now Telstra) while also helping wife Mollie to run the family business - the corner store at the junction of George St and Humphrey St - long known as Hunter's shop.

A tireless community worker, he served as chairman of the local organising committee for the Australian Bicentenary in 1988 and was president of the Rotary Club of New Norfolk in the same year. He was also a member of the local Australia Day Committee for a time.

In 1991 he was chairman of the Derwent Valley Community Services Association when the group proudly receive the keys to its first mini-van to provide transport for sick and elderly people.

During Centenary of Federation celebrations in 2001, Geoff was named one of 50 "Local Heroes" of the Derwent Valley community for their contributions to the municipality over many years.

A longstanding Rotarian, Geoff transferred to the Claremont club following the demise of Rotary in New Norfolk, where he continued to live up to the organisation's motto: Service Above Self. He served as president of the Rotary Club of Claremont and was recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow.

Geoff Goss is survived by his wife Mollie and their four children, and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His funeral service was held at St Peter's Catholic Church on December 21. Donations to the district hospital were requested in lieu of flowers.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Great Christmas spirit at community lunch

Volunteers Cameron Douglas and
Karin Harris.
A WONDERFUL afternoon was had at the New Norfolk War Memorial Hall on Tuesday, where more than 100 Christmas lunches were served to a big crowd of locals and visitors.

A team of volunteers from local churches assembled several hours earlier to decorate the hall and prepare the food. Lunch started to be served around noon, followed by carols singing and lucky door prize giveaways.

The event started about 30 years ago involving about 10 people from three families who were new to the area.

It grew into a community event held in the hall at St Matthew's Church, offering food and fellowship for people who might otherwise have been alone at Christmas. The theme each year is "bring a friend or come and make a friend."

One of the original participants and organisers, Les Whittle, said the lunch had been held at St Matthew's for about 20 years but it had grown to such an extent that it had been necessary to move to a bigger venue this year.

Justin Logie baked the potatoes for the lunch in his mobile oven.
Spokeswoman Gillian Parton said the size of the Memorial Hall had presented some challenges but assistance had been received in the form of donations and practical contributions from the community as well as the church fellowships.

"The day was an amazing culmination of thoughts and practical help from all the Christian leaders of New Norfolk," Mrs Parton said. "We had carols and laughter and lots of giveaways, lots of sharing and chatting."

The scene inside the Memorial Hall on Christmas Day.
Mrs Parton said it was a great privilege to have all the local churches and more than 100 members of the community joining together for Christmas Day in New Norfolk.


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

New Norfolk golf results

New Norfolk Golf Club

Wednesday 26/12/18 Stableford
18 Hole: T. Morgan 42,  G. Hack 41, W. Hodge 38, D. Page 38 c/b, R. Rainbird 38 c/b. Birdie hole: D Stevenson.
9 Hole: T. Morgan 21, J. Wilton 20 c/b, G. Hack 20, W. Hodge 19 c/b, R. Rainbird 19 c/b. Birdie hole:  T Lowe.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Update to fire weather warning

Bureau of Meteorology

Tasmania


Fire Weather Warning
for the Upper Derwent Valley and South East forecast districts

Issued at 4:47am on Monday 24 December 2018.


Weather Situation

Very High fire dangers are expected in parts of the Upper Derwent Valley and South East forecast districts, with temperatures expected to reach near 31 degrees, northwesterly winds of 30 to 40 km/h and relative humidity down to 15%. Fire dangers are expected to peak late afternoon.


For the rest of Monday 24 December:

Very High Fire Danger is forecast for the following forecast districts:
Upper Derwent Valley and South East 

The Tasmania Fire Service advises you to:

  • Action your Bushfire Survival Plan now.
  • Monitor the fire and weather situation through your local radio station, www.fire.tas.gov.au and www.bom.gov.au.
  • Call 000 (Triple Zero) in an emergency.

For information on preparing for bushfires go to www.fire.tas.gov.au.

No further warnings will be issued for this event, but the situation will continue to be monitored and further warnings issued if necessary.

Churches offer free Christmas lunch

A FREE Christmas lunch will be available at the War Memorial Hall in Circle St, New Norfolk, on Christmas Day tomorrow.

The lunch is provided by the churches of New Norfolk, particularly for those who may be on their own at Christmas. In previous years this was held in the St Matthew's Church Hall.

Lunch starts at noon and the theme is "bring a friend or come and make a friend." The two-course meal is provided free of charge although donations are welcome.

Bookings are appreciated - to help with catering - but not essential. For special dietary requirements, more information, or to request transport, phone Gillian on 0429 611 528 or Tim on 0408 003 635.

What else is on this Christmas?


  • Christmas Eve: Carols service for children, St Andrew's Anglican Church, Ellendale, 6pm.
  • Christmas Eve: St Peter's Catholic Church, Hillside Crescent, New Norfolk, Family Mass at 6pm, Midnight Mass at 9pm.
  • Christmas Eve: Salvation Army, Hamilton Rd, New Norfolk, carols and nativity at 7pm.
  • Christmas Eve: St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Bathurst St, New Norfolk, service at 11pm.
  • Christmas Day: St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Bathurst St, New Norfolk, service at 9.30am.
  • Christmas Day: Christmas Day service, St John's Anglican Church, Ouse, 10am.
  • Christmas Day: Christmas Day Mass, St Colman's Catholic Church, Ellendale, 11.30am.
  • Christmas Day: Free Christmas lunch at the War Memorial Hall, Circle St, New Norfolk. Noon-3pm. Phone  0429 611 528 or 0408 003 635.



  • Season's greetings to all readers of the New Norfolk News.

    See the 2018 New Norfolk Christmas Parade gallery here. 

    Sunday, December 23, 2018

    New Norfolk golf results

    New Norfolk Golf Club

     

    Thurs 20/12/18 Twilight stableford Round 10:

    Division 1: Tim Lowe 24, Allan Lowe 20 c/b, Stephen Ackerly 20, Darren Stevenson 19, John Smith 18 c/b.

    Division 2: Ian King 22, John Kinloch 21, Danny Post 20 c/b, Alan Watts 20 c/b, Jonathon Cox 20.

    Division 3: Daniel Vagg 22, David Giles 21, Michael Minton 20, Ian Welsh 19, Daryl Pursell 17.

    Superpin: Ian Welsh.

     

    Twilight overall winners best 7 out of 9 rounds:

    Division 1: Wade Coleman 130, Darren Stevenson 128, Dale Williams 125, Fred Carmichael 125, Bryan Watt 124.

    Division 2: Tim Lowe 137, Jonathon Cox 136, Richard Weber 133, Stephen Ackerly 132, Danny Post 130.

    Division 3: Daniel Vagg 143, Rod Collins 132, Robin Hoare 131, Michael Wardlaw 129, David Giles 125.

     

    Sat 22/12/18 Stroke:

    A Grade gross: D. Stevenson 74, J. Wilton 77 c/b, L. Griffith 77. Nett: F. Carmichael 75-10-65, G. Hack 77-11-66, J. Hall 78-10-68.

    B Grade gross: G. Duggan 81, G. Smith 86, G. Bailey 86. Nett: D. Armstrong 76-14-62, J. Kinloch 82-14-68, M. Wardlaw 87-18-69.

    C Grade gross: K. Horne 84, D. Giles 90 c/b, A. Leitch 90 c/b. Nett: P. Foster 82-19-63, L. Dittman 90-23-67, J. Broadhead 99-31-68.

    NTP: 3RD J. Wilton, 6/15th G. Heron, 8/17th J. Hastie, 

    Superpin: G. Heron

    Eagle on the 14th M. Woodhams.

    Upper Derwent Valley fire weather warning

    Bureau of Meteorology

    Tasmania


    Fire Weather Warning
    for the Upper Derwent Valley and South East forecast districts

    Issued at 1:54pm on Sunday 23 December 2018.


    Weather Situation

    Very High fire dangers are expected in parts of the Upper Derwent Valley and South East forecast districts, with temperatures expected to reach near 31 degrees, northwesterly winds of 30 to 40 km/h and relative humidity down to 15%. Fire dangers are expected to peak late afternoon.


    For Monday 24 December:

    Very High Fire Danger is forecast for the following forecast districts:
    Upper Derwent Valley and South East 


    The Tasmania Fire Service advises you to:

    • Action your Bushfire Survival Plan now.
    • Monitor the fire and weather situation through your local radio station, www.fire.tas.gov.au and www.bom.gov.au.
    • Call 000 (Triple Zero) in an emergency.

    For information on preparing for bushfires go to www.fire.tas.gov.au.

    The next warning will be issued by 5pm Sunday.

    First local graduates from Children's University

    Children's University graduate Jaxson Featherstone, centre, is
    congratulated by D'FAT chairman Nic Kaiser, left, and D'FAT
    facilitator Matt Hill, right.
    ABOUT 10 per cent of this year's southern Tasmanian graduates from the Children's University Tasmania were from the Derwent Valley. This was the first year that the local area was officially included in the program, which helps to develop children into adaptable, lifelong learners and builds bridges to employment and higher education by connecting them to a wide range of learning experiences outside of school hours.

    Of the 173 southern children celebrating their graduation last week, 17 were from the Derwent Valley, youth worker Matt Hill told the New Norfolk News. "This includes 10 students from Westerway Primary School, two students from Glenora District School, one student from New Norfolk Primary School and four home-school students," Mr Hill said.

    "Nine of these Derwent Valley graduates attended and participated in Derwent Valley Youth Future Action Team (D’FAT) validated learning activities during 2018," he said.

    Since June this year, D’FAT has been an official public learning destination for Children’s University Tasmania, which is operated by The Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment, University of Tasmania). Children’s University Tasmania is also supported by Communities for Children - South East Tasmania, The Salvation Army.

    DFA'T was particularly pleased that one of the young graduates, Jaxson Featherstone, is both a student of New Norfolk Primary School and a D'FAT member. Jaxson has the honour of being the first D'FAT member and NNPS student to graduate from Children's University Tasmania.

    Children’s University Tasmania was launched in July 2015 and is now working with 32 schools statewide and has more than 750 active participants. Each member is issued with a Passport to Learning, in which hours of activity at validated Learning Destinations are recorded.

    Local Learning Destinations include the Derwent Valley Concert Development Band,
    Derwent Valley PCYC, Derwent Valley Youth Future Action Team (D'FAT) and TygaFM Radio.

    Saturday, December 22, 2018

    Relay earlybird registrations closing soon

    Relay for Life state project manager Anthony Edwards, centre,
    with local volunteers Sonya Downie, left,  and Sandra
    Hetherington, recruiting at New Norfolk recently.
    THE Derwent Valley Relay for Life will be one of four major relay events for the Cancer Council Tasmania in 2019.

    Registrations for the 2019 Relay For Life are open now and all teams who register early will go into a draw for free tent-hire at the event.

    Relay for Life state project manager Anthony Edwards said each relay went for 20-hours. Teams and participants get together to walk the track for many reasons related to fighting back against cancer.

    “Relayers walk to remember those who have lost their battle, to celebrate life or simply to support this ongoing fight against this disease,” Mr Edwards said.

    Eleven teams have already registered for the fourth Derwent Valley Relay for Life, which will start at 1pm on February 23 and finish at 9am on February 24. The venue will once again be at Tynwald Park in New Norfolk.

    "Any teams who register for Relay For Life before the 31st of December will automatically go into the draw to win the Budget hire tent," Mr Edwards said. "This tent will be set up for you on the day of the event."

    All you need to do is register your team at: bit.ly/RFLDERWENT

    Mr Edwards said it was recommended to have 10 to 15 people per team. "More than 15 members can be difficult for team captains to manage and give everyone an opportunity to take to the track," he said. "If your team is growing, consider splitting it into two and have more members to join in the fun of Relay! With fewer than 10, it can be hard to keep someone on the track for the whole event."

    Tasmania's three other relays in 2019 will be at Penguin on March 16-17, Hobart on March 23-24 and Launceston on  March 30-31. “We expect to see our 100,000th participant in 2019, which is an extraordinary number of people involved since Relay For Life started in 2001,” Mr Edwards said.

    “Since 2001, we have held 77 events which is testament to the event’s longevity and incredible support Tasmanians give to this event every year. In this time, Relay For Life has raised almost $14 million from Tasmanian communities. Relay For Life has become an iconic community event that has cemented itself into communities across Tasmania.

    “It’s a huge effort for us to achieve this outcome every year, yet our motivation is high because of its purpose and the people who participate. We enjoy working with our volunteer committees who do an incredible job to make it all happen," Mr Edwards said.

    Relay for Life started in the Derwent Valley in 2015, when more than 250 participants attended at Boyer Oval. The event moved to Tynwald Park for the next relays in 2016 and 2017. The same popular park will be the venue for the fourth relay.

    “Registration for this event is open and we encourage people to gather your friends or family together and form a team. You can register any time at www.relayforlife.org.au or by calling 1300 65 65 85,” Mr Edwards said.

    Mayor: Gazette 'on its last legs'

    The last issue of the Gazette for 2018 could
    be the last under its current ownership.
    MAYOR Ben Shaw has taken aim at the Derwent Valley Gazette following social media speculation that the 65-year-old local newspaper will soon be under new ownership.

    "Not sure who the new owners will be but I’d say the ol' Gazette will be on its last legs!!" Cr Shaw said yesterday in response to a Facebook post saying the paper will soon be in Tasmanian ownership with a new editor and staff.

    "Interesting, might be time to start a community paper that actually cares about the community and not individuals opinions!! Or trying to council bash at every turn for the fun of it," the mayor said in a comment.

    "They use and abuse good people because they are passionate but not willing to put any hard work in themselves. Then when they can’t be bothered they dump sports and contributors. Not sure who the new owners will be but I’d say the ol' Gazette will be on its last legs!!"

    Columnist Adam Rice responded that he wrote for the Gazette for the love of fishing. "The past editor always did the right thing by me," he said. "Don't hold grudges and get behind it, the paper has a lot of history in the valley and it would be a shame if it was gone."

    First published in 1953, the Derwent Valley Gazette was locally owned until 1981 when it was sold to Davies Brothers, proprietors of the Mercury and other publications. In 1986 it was absorbed into News Limited (now News Corp Australia) along with the Mercury.

    Speaking at the December council meeting, councillor and former mayor Martyn Evans repeated his request for the council to seek full costings for the production of a community newspaper. Derwent Valley Online Access Centre co-ordinator Terri Sweet posted on Facebook that the centre might be interested in assisting with a publication similar to The Highland Digest. 

    A former Gazette paper boy, the mayor has used social media to express his frustration with the local paper and its reporters on several occasions.




    Friday, December 21, 2018

    Latest New Norfolk golf results

    New Norfolk Golf Club

    18 hole: Gavin Smith 76-16-20, Des O’Neill 91-29-62, Ken Horne 83-19-64, Tony Banks 87-20-67 c/b, Rodney Collins 97-30-67 c/b. Birdie hole: Tony Hardwick.
    9 hole: Des O’Neill 43-14½-28½, Gavin Smith 37-8-29, Alan Watts 41-9-32, Allan Donegan 51-18-33 c/b, Bob Wilson 49-16-33. Birdie hole: Geoff Hack.

    Glenora school awards for 2018

    CONGRATULATIONS to all the recipients of awards at Glenora District School's presentation assembly on Tuesday and the donors who made them possible. Awards were presented to students in the primary and secondary sections of the school. Grade 10 student Seb Hay received  seven awards including Dux of the School.

    Special Awards
    New Norfolk Lions Club Citizenship & Service Award: Dylan Walker.
    Mark Shelton MHA School Spirit Award: Harry Townsend.
    Rene Hidding MHA Initiative & Effort Award: Evie Anning.
    Senator Carol Brown Award for Special Contribution to the School: Austin Gajkowski.
    Shepherd Family Awards for Service to the Community: Rylee Triffett, Taylor Smith, Bronte McAllister.
    Guy Barnett MHA Volunteering Spirit Award: Lillie Skinner.
    Senator Eric Abetz All Round Consistency and Effort Award: Lane Scherer.
    Shellie Triffett Award for School Values: Chelsea Tuckett and Dylan Walker.
    Brian Mitchell MHR Award for Engagement and Participation in School: Hayden Plunkett.
    Jen Butler MHA Award for Engagement and Participation in School: Christopher Hall.
    Bushy Park Show Society Award for Agricultural Studies: Brandon Plunkett.

    Derwent Valley Masonic Lodge Award for Transition from Primary to Secondary: Mollie Fenton.
    Central Highlands Council Mayor's Citizenship Award: Georgia Edmonds.
    Steven Cashion Memorial Trophy (Secondary Outstanding Sportsperson): Christopher Hall.
    SRC Outstanding Primary Sportsperson Award: Abbey Bailey.
    Sporting Participation Award (Primary): Wyatt Lovell, Mollie Fenton, Caleb Temple.
    Effort and Endeavour Awards (Primary): Hunta Wiggins, Kayla Smythe, Ruby Hay, Bronte Jones, lndianna Hill, George Picken, Dylan Russell, Heidi Davidson.

    Citizenship and Service Awards (Primary): Ellie Scherer, Bailey Hall, Hayley Wheeler, Miley Sonners, Jayson Laycock, Caleb Temple.
    Derwent Valley PCYC Award for Special Efforts in Senior Primary: Ruby Jackson.
    Special Merit Awards (Secondary): Liam King, Brock Hill, Troy Leaman, Dylan Walker.
    Caltex All-Round Achievement Award: Mia Temple.
    Rebecca White MHA Glenora Merit Award: Madeleine Wright.
    Craig Farrell MLC Participation Award (Secondary): Dylan Walker.
    Craig Farrell MLC Primary Co-operation Award: Taylor Davidson.
    Minister for Education's Respectful Schools Award: Dylan Davis.
    Primary Academic Excellence Awards: Reece Anderson, Crystal Plunkett, Aidan Smith, Leah Laycock, Hayden Plunkett, Grace Matthews, Callie Cooper, Stephanie Laycock, Tasha Kaye.

    Secondary Academic Excellence Awards: Isabella Cooper, Jesse Laycock, Hayley Chesters, Seb Hay.
    Damian Bester Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Literacy: Stephanie Laycock (Primary) and Isabella Cooper (Secondary).
    Maydena Community Association Award: Hannah Marriott.
    Claremont College Award: Seb Hay.
    ADF Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Award: Linus Castro.


    Glenora School Association Awards
    Award for Hospitality: Hayley Chesters.
    Award for Art (Secondary): Seb Hay.
    Award for Multi-Media: Seb Hay.
    Award for Maker Space: Tyrone Skinner.
    Award for Encouragement of Lifelong Learning in Numeracy: Brandon Plunkett.
    Award for Materials, Design and Technology: Linus Castro.
    Award for Automotive Engineering: Montanna Gittus.
    Award for Encouragement of Lifelong Learning in Literacy: Jack Edmonds.
    Award for Science: Mia Temple.
    Award for History: Seb Hay.
    Award for Health and Wellbeing: Linus Castro.
    Award for the Arts (Primary): Miley Sonners.
    Award for Primary Numeracy: Blake Plunkett.
    Award for Primary Literacy: Grace Matthews.
    Trevor McHugh Leadership and Service Award: Mia Temple.

    Bursaries
    Central Highlands Council Further Education Bursary: Linus Castro.
    Bushy Park Estates Bursary: Montanna Gittus.
    Norske Skog Bursary to Higher Education: Hayden Davis, Brittany Picken, Tyson Hershaft, Montanna Gittus.
    Derwent Valley Council Bursary: Hayden Davis.
    University of Tasmania Springboard to Higher Education Bursary: Seb Hay.
    Dux of the School
    Veart Memorial Award for Excellence - Dux of the School (donated by Student Representative Council and Damian Bester): Seb Hay.

    Glenora District School graduates 2018
    Nathan Barrington, Hayden Davis, Seb Hay, Hannah Marriott, Julie Ransley, Linus Castro, Montanna Gittus, Tyson Hershaft, Brittany Picken, Dylan Walker and Zachery Wallner.

    Thursday, December 20, 2018

    Mayor's Christmas communication

    Mayor Ben Shaw in his video message on Facebook.
    THIS is the text of a video Christmas message from Derwent Valley mayor Ben Shaw that was posted on the council's Facebook page earlier today.

    "G'day everybody, Ben Shaw here, the new mayor of the Derwent Valley Council and welcome to our first edition of the mayor's monthly message. This message is going to be brought to you at least once a month throughout my term on council and really it's a communication tool.

    "We've heard the community's concerns. We understand that the council hasn't really communicated well enough for a long period of time. So we'll use this message for the next four years and at least every month we'll actually be bringing some decisions of council, we'll actually go around the community, we'll actually go through and introduce you to some of the staff that work at council and really I guess give you an understanding of how council work and and what certain people in the organisation do, as well as bringing you some of the really important decisions of council.

    "And I'll try and explain those decisions to council in an easy way so you can understand what's going on, so you don't have to read through all the agendas and find out information in other means or hear it from chit chat around the street. This is going to be an ongoing thing and I look forward to communicating with you all through the next four years.

    "At last month's meeting which was last week, we actually adopted a new communication strategy. This will actually help us engage a lot better with the community. So internally we'll actually be able to engage. We've already set up a Facebook page which everybody is actually quite happy with at the moment.

    "Hopefully in the future we'll look at how we can actually engage and interact with the community as well on that but we've got a lot of things in the communication strategy which should help I guess relay the messages from from council on what we're doing and make it a lot more transparent and just just let the community understand a lot more of what we're actually doing.

    "Last month you would have seen that the council actually adopted a new community strategic plan - Our Valley 2030. This is going to be our guiding document. This is going to be the document that council really relies on in terms of when we make our decisions. So all of our critical decisions - and all of our decisions in fact that come through council - will be referenced back to this document.

    "This document is your voice and your thinking for the next 12 years. So this is this is what you've told us you want the community to look like in 2030. So everything that we do from now on, this should be a guiding document. This should be our referencing document that we actually work to. So this is a really really important document that myself and all of our councillors and all the staff will actually be working to. So thank you for your input into the community strategic plan, Our Valley 2030, it will be a very strong document moving forward. So thank you very much.

    "We will bring you some more of these updates over every month, over the next four years of my term but essentially this is the first one, this is the greeting message to let you know what this message is about and why we're doing it. And essentially it's just so we can communicate better to our community and let you know what's going.

    "Today we're actually in the Santa's House [in the Courthouse in Circle St, New Norfolk]. Santa's House was actually set up by the New Norfolk Christmas group, a fantastic volunteer organisation or a volunteer group who has done all this fantastic work just to bring some Christmas cheer into the into the heart of New Norfolk. You would have also seen down the street there's some Christmas banners, there's also some some Christmas paraphernalia on the poles, so that's all done by the Christmas Group.

    "From 10:00 'til 4:00 every day Santa will actually be in here. So no I'm not Santa, yes I do look a little bit like Santa here sitting up on Santa's chair, but there will be real Santa here from 10:00 'til 4:00  each day. So bring your kids along, bring in your pets, and bring the family members, bring your camera or your phone and come and have a free photo with Santa Claus, have a catch up. There's also some lollies that Santa will hand out. And Santa is also walking up and down the street periodically through the day up until Christmas Eve except on Sunday.

    "Essentially that's it for me for this month, but we will have more content moving forward. We'll be doing things like going out to footy and cricket matches, having a bit of a catch up with the community down the street, we'll also be introducing you to a few staff members are working council, outside, inside, letting you know exactly what their role is and what they do for the community.

    Mayor Ben Shaw, left, general manager Greg Winton, right,
    and some of the council staff wishing everyone a merry Christmas.
    "So I guess, really just letting you into the world of council because a lot of people don't know a lot about what council do. So that's what we're going to try and do these video messages each month.  So that's it for me for 2018 and we'll be back in January. But from myself and from all of the new councillor group we wish you a merry Christmas, a happy and safe new year and hopefully councillors can just get on with the job in January and make the community the best community that we can."

    The video concluded with a message from general manager Greg Winton advising that the council offices will close at noon on December 21, and re-open on January 2.

    Derwent Valley Council Christmas and New Year arrangements

    • Council Chambers and Depot: Closed from noon on Friday, December 21, re-opening Wednesday, January 2. 
    • Garbage and recycling collection will operate as normal with the exception of Christmas Day, which will be collected on Sunday, December 23.
    • National Park Waste Transfer Station will operate as normal.
    • New Norfolk Landfill Site (Peppermint Hill) will be closed from 11am on Friday, December 21; open on December 22, 23 and 24 (normal hours), closed Christmas Day and re-opening on Wednesday, 26 (normal hours).
    • Swimming pools are closed on Christmas Day 
    • Valley Children’s Centre will be closed on December 21 and re-opening January 2.
    • The Derwent Valley Council emergency phone number is 6261 8500 (all hours).

    Council annual general meeting rundown

    In a video posted on Facebook, Cr Rachel Power, front, said five
    people had caused an uproar in the public gallery at the council
    AGM last week and 20-odd had encouraged them. 
    FACING its second no-confidence motion in as many years, the Derwent Valley Council's annual general meeting last week had one of the biggest attendances in many years. Tempers flared in some instances and voices were raised on several occasions, leading to three councillors making accusations of bulling and intimidation by members of the public gallery.

    The official audio recording of the meeting was published on the council website on Monday, allowing a detailed review of the proceedings, which lasted about 45 minutes. Without explanation, the recording was replaced by a slightly shorter version on Tuesday. The recording is available here, or read on for a detailed report.

    Mayor Ben Shaw opened the meeting at about 5.30pm on December 13, remarking that there appeared to be quite a bit of interest in the annual report. "It is interesting to note that the council AGM isn't an official meeting of council," Cr Shaw said. "So, it is for the purposes of noting the annual report and taking public questions regarding the annual report," he said.

    Dealing firstly with the record of attendance and apologies, Cr Shaw said Cr Martyn Evans was an apology for the meeting but all other councillors were in attendance. General manager Greg Winton conducted a headcount of the public gallery and reported that there were 29 members of the public in attendance. Names of the public were not recorded for the minutes.

    Cr Shaw said Item 2 in the agenda was brief overview of conduct at the annual general meeting. "If you've got an agenda there or if you've had a look at an agenda, it's reasonably self-explanatory," he said.

    The mayor next called for someone to move the confirmation of the minutes of the 2017 annual general meeting. After a short delay, deputy mayor Jessica Cosgrove moved that the minutes be confirmed as "fair and correct". Cr Julie Triffett seconded the motion. From the public gallery, Mr Alby Stephenson objected on the grounds that a councillor who was not at the last AGM could not say the minutes were fair and correct. Cr Shaw over-ruled the objection and said the minutes would be passed if the majority of the room, and the minutes would be passed if voted for by the majority of the room. Mr Stephenson asked if the members of the public could vote and the mayor responded in the affirmative. This was a departure from previous AGMs where the councillors alone voted on the minutes and annual report, as recently as last year.

    Mr Stephenson then asked if the meeting was being recorded, as the mayor had not made the usual announcement. Cr Shaw said it was not a requirement for the meeting to be recorded and Mr Stephenson disagreed, pointing to a council decision on the matter last March. "Correct, but this isn't an official council meeting either," Cr Shaw said, "but we are recording it." Another voice in the gallery said "you can't have an AGM if it's not official" and another replied "it's so they can bulls..t." The digital recorder had been running since the start of the meeting.

    The scene at the council annual general meeting last week.
    With no other speakers, Cr Shaw called for a show of hands from all those in favour of approving the minutes of the previous AGM. "The public can vote on this as well, if you if you've read the minutes from the previous meeting," he said. Voting for the minutes, he counted himself and councillors Triffett, Cosgrove, Browning, Salt and Power, and Mr Ian Lacey in the public gallery. The mayor then called for those voting against the minutes to raise their hands. He started to call out the names of the "No" votes, starting with Mr Chris Lester, but was interrupted by the general manager who suggested counting the numbers instead. "One, two, three, four, ah, sorry this meeting is just for electors of the Derwent Valley, so just to clarify you have to be enrolled on the Electoral Commission in the Derwent Valley to be able to vote at this AGM," the mayor said. At least three voters put down their hands, including long-time local resident Erin Kelly who later said her place of enrollment was in question.

    The mayor counted 11 "No" votes, although a voice in the gallery said there were 13. Cr Shaw then counted the abstentions, asking those who had not voted "Yes" or "No" to raise their hands. He counted eight abstentions including Cr Paul Belcher, and declared the motion to have been carried. A number of voices in the gallery disputed the result, including Mr Wayne Shoobridge who asked the mayor to clarify the decision. The general manager advised the mayor: "I think you might find it was lost. Lost." The mayor apologised and after the rechecking the numbers he announced: "The motion is lost, 25 against."

    Moving on to the fourth item of business, Cr Shaw called for someone to move that the annual report be noted. This was moved by Mr Russell Alphey from the public gallery and seconded by Cr Rachel Power. With no-one wishing to speak about the report, Cr Shaw thanked the staff who had produced it. "It is a required document that we need to put together every year [and] gives a bit of a snapshot about what's happened in the previous year in council," he said.

    Putting the motion to the vote, Cr Shaw counted numbers rather than names on this occasion, announcing there were 12 votes in favour of noting the annual report. He then counted 11 votes against the motion, and next called for abstentions before changing his mind. "That's the rest, we've got the numbers so that's fine, so we'll finalise the numbers now". After conferring with the general manager, Cr Shaw declared the motion to have been lost. Cr Belcher had again abstained from voting, along with a number of people in the gallery.

    The next item on the agenda dealt with written submissions received in response to the annual report. Although the agenda document stated none had been received, Cr Shaw said there was one submission and he asked the general manager to report. "Thanks Mr Mayor, councillors, ladies and gentlemen, we received one submission from Mr Alby Stephenson from Molesworth," Mr Winton said.

    Mr Stephenson raised two issues, one being that matters from the 2017 annual general meeting had not been resolved. Firstly, he reported that he had received a letter from the general manager after the previous AGM, advising that a vote of no-confidence in the council on matters relating to Collins Cap Rd was not upheld because some members of the public abstained from voting. "The chairperson did not ask the members of the public if they were abstaining," Mr Stephenson said. "The meeting closed with a vote of 2-0 on the no-confidence vote. Your letter therefore did not constitute part of the AGM but was in fact an afterthought. I believe I have a right of clarification on this issue."

    In response, Mr Winton said there had been some confusion at the last AGM as to whether councillors could participate in the vote on public motions and he had attempted to clarify this by saying councillors were also electors of the municipal area and were entitled to vote and so was everyone else in the room at that point in time. "The question I suppose is really about whether there was a show of hands or not a show of hands. By being in the room and not voting, you are abstaining from voting."

    Mr Stephenson interjected while Mr Winton attempted to move on to the second part of the submission. "I'm sorry, before you go on to that, the AGM [last year] was ... almost like an episode of Yes Minister. When you asked if anybody opposed the motion [of no-confidence], five of the councillors put up their hands. I believe you were corrected by one of the councillors who said that councillors couldn't vote". Cr Shaw interrupted here to say he believed the general manager had just explained that situation. "The councillors are electors so they actually can vote and the general manager explained that on the night and he's just explained that now."

    Mr Stephenson tried to continue to pursue the matter of councillors voting on motions from the floor [which they had not done in previous years] but this was not being entertained: "Thank you Mr Stephenson, you have got your answer," Cr Shaw said.

    [Despite the advice that all electors attending council AGMs are entitled to vote on all matters, this did not occur last year. While the record of voting on Mr Stephenson's 2017 motion of no-confidence remains in dispute, the minutes clearly indicate that only councillors were able to vote on the annual report that year, and there is no mention of the voting on the previous year's minutes at all.]

    The general manager then went on with the remainder of Mr Stephenson's submission. "So the ... second matter of concern is the correspondence from Mayor Evans to residents in Collins Cap Rd written in the new year," Mr Winton said. Mr Stephenson said he believed it had been established during the 2017 AGM that $200,000 in the 2015 budget was designated for the sealing of Collins Cap Road between Wyre Forest Rd and Tubbs Rd. "This money did not exist and I believe we concluded that it was Monopoly money. Why did Mayor Evans then write to residents saying the money did exist but not necessarily for Collins Cap Rd?"

    Mr Winton said he was not able to answer for former mayor Evans, but a question had been asked about the same matter at the January 2018 council meeting and another letter had been sent to Mr Stephenson. Mayor Shaw said the practice was that questions from the AGM went to the next monthly meeting, which could have been the reason for the former mayor's letter. Mr Stephenson said he was aware Code of Conduct complaints had to be lodged within six months but he felt there was a breach of the councillor code of conduct involved in the matter and Cr Shaw said there were avenues for pursuing that.

    The mayor then introduced the fifth item on the agenda, general business, and called for any  questions from the floor.

    Mr Wayne Shoobridge drew attention to the poor acoustics in the old courtroom used as the council chamber, as well as the difficulty in hearing some parts of the audio recordings made of each meeting. "For a small amount of money you could have a microphone placed in front of everybody," he said. The mayor said the question had been noted and he had already asked the general manager to obtain quotes for an improved system, as members of the public gallery had previously complained about not being able to hear some councillors when they spoke.

    Len Butterworth asking a question at the council AGM.
    The next question was from Mr Len Butterworth who said he had hand-delivered a letter to the council, advising that he was challenging the legality of the council. "Local Government has no recognition in our Commonwealth of Australia Constitution 1901," Mr Butterworth said. He said a referendum held in 1988 had produced a result opposing constitutional recognition of Local Government, including 72.5% of Tasmanian voters voting "No". "Which part of 'No' do you as councillors not understand?". Cr Shaw asked if that was the question and after hearing Mr Butterworth's reply that it was, he said the question would be taken on notice.

    This was not a satisfactory response for Mr Butterworth, who said he had written to the council and deserved a response. "Have you got any response to that? Are you operating as a private company?" he asked. The mayor thanked Mr Butterworth for the question, and Mr Butterworth said: "No thank you," followed by inaudible remarks and then: "Benny, don't tell me to sit down, you're the bloody chair of this meeting, it's not to the general meeting as yet, it's the ... AGM."

    Cr Shaw said he would take the question on notice and would answer in writing, which led another voice in the gallery to ask: "What about the rest of us that want to know the answer?" The mayor responded: "It'll be provided... the response will be provided after its considered at the next meeting." Cr Shaw said all questions and motions from the AGM would be considered a council meeting. Mr Butterworth said he was taking legal action and had already had a response from Local Government Minister Peter Gutwein. He had also been offered free court time to take on the council.

    Cr Shaw: "There's a there's a process and procedure that you can follow and you're quite within your right to do that. Thank you."
    A muttering voice in the gallery: "Dipstick."

    The mayor called for any further questions and Mr Darren Graham said he would like to move a motion of no-confidence.  Cr Shaw said he was still dealing with questions, and motions would be next.

    Mr Alby Stephenson was next, harking back to his own motion of no-confidence in the council at last year's annual general meeting, and allegations at the time of the disappearance of $200,000 intended for works on Collins Cap Rd at Molesworth. "I later discovered that it wasn't $200,000, it was something like a million and $400,000. Now, has the ever been an inquiry into how it happened?"

    Cr Shaw said he was not sure of the exact figure and he would ask the general manager if he had any response. "I think there's been some responses given regarding the fact that it was a non-cash backed reserve for quite some time. So there was a reserve there that showed that it was there it was non-cash backed, so a reserve actually existed for that road, we found out there was non-cash backed. So that was the issue but I couldn't comment on the exact figure right now."

    Mr Stephenson: "It's a case of creative accounting."
    Cr Shaw: "Yep."

    Mr Stephenson continued: "While I'm here, how many accountants are we paying at the moment?"
    The mayor and general manager responded: "One."
    Mr Stephenson: "So the original accountant who was stood down ... is still being paid?"
    A voice: "No, go easy..."
    Cr Shaw: "No, we won't go there, that's um..."
    Mr Stephenson: "We won't go there... OK. So we're paying for two accountants."
    Cr Shaw: "No, one."
    A voice: "The other one's free is he?"

    Mr Chris Lester took up the subject of non-cash-backed reserves. "If there is money set aside in the budget and it is not spent on something else, well where is the money?"
    Cr Shaw: "Absolutely."
    Mr Lester: "So it is cash-backed."
    Cr Shaw: "It was not cash-backed."
    Mr Lester: "With all due respect, if is set aside in the budget and it isn't spent on anything else, it should still be there [and] spent on that damn road."
    Another voice: "That's correct."
    Cr Shaw: "Exactly."

    After a few moments of silence in the room, Mr Winton offered: "I can't explain something that while I wasn't at, at that point in time, about how certain practises of accounting were undertaken. What I can say though is that there's been much discussion within the council around cash-backed reserves and what these reserves are. If you took the time to have a look at the financial statements for this year on pages 24 and 25, there is a listing of the community reserves and the asset replacement reserves and they add up to approximately $2 million. They are all now cash-backed. So, questions around ... in the past in terms of how did this happen, [it is] quite difficult for me to actually explain. However what I can say to you is that council over the last period of time has made a concentrated effort to ensure that the reserves that is has been recording are now all cash-backed."

    The Mr Haydn Pearce, expressed surprise that there were not more people wearing yellow shirts, as per the recent protests in France. "I thought everybody was gonna have yellow shirts and we would have rebelled against the council," he said. There was laughter in the gallery as the mayor said he was not able to answer that question.

    Mr Pearce continued: "Seeing how I pay close to $30,000 each year in rates, to you lovely people - and hello to the new people as well because I don't think I have really met anybody - how come I still have dirt all around my property down there as footpaths? It's the new centre of town and the council never seems to do me any favors. So all I see is council doing other people favours. I don't know - how does this work?" Turning to journalist Damian Bester in the press box, Mr Pearce said: "You're a reporter. Report."

    Mr Pearce continued: "The thing is, I don't know how your council work. I become very disillusioned. I'm sorry about the new people here and you know maybe this is something that you guys can think about and maybe change and maybe help ... or ... maybe help me see the light."
    A voice: "Just stop paying your rates."
    Another voice: "You're lucky you've got a road."
    Mr Pearce: "I do pay my rates because I appreciate that rates need to be paid for the greater community to ... have a better place. But I don't see it happening guys and I just had to come and say so."

    Cr Shaw thanked Mr Pearce and said there was a process, and a hierarchy of footpaths. Mr Pearce said he had to keep going, and left the meeting.

    The next speaker was Mr Alby Stephenson, who said he did not agree with the council's new credit card policy and was not in favour of the senior management having $10,000 credit cards. He went on to acknowledge the good service received from Karen Post at the council's front counter. "Every time I have been in to the council chambers she has been smiling, very attentive, knows exactly what I want and gives me all the instructions. So, if anyone should get a Christmas present I say it should be Karen." The gallery applauded Mr Stephenson's remarks while Cr Shaw responded that all of the front office staff were very good.

    Mr Chris Lester was next with a question, asking whether the council now had a policy about giving council and ratepayers' funds to private businesses. Cr Shaw said he did not believe there was such a policy and Mr Winton said he could not answer the question without more information.

    Mr Lester continued: "Well, the market," which prompted deputy mayor Jessica Cosgrove to turn around and stare in Mr Lester's direction. Mr Lester was seated behind Cr Cosgrove, who recently had a licence granted by the council to run the weekly High St market.
    Mr Winton asked Cr Shaw for leeway to answer the question, which was granted. "So Mr Lester can you just clarify what the question is?
    Mr Lester: "The question is, does the council have a policy around giving ratepayers' money to a private enterprise to run a business.
    Mr Winton: "And you're referring to the market specifically?
    Mr Lester: "I am referring to the market."
    Mr Winton: "Right. I'm not aware of the council having a policy around that particular matter."
    Mr Lester: "I understand that the council set aside $30,000 in their budget."
    Mr Winton: "OK, thanks for clarifying what the question is about. There is a figure of $30,000 in this current year's budget in the capital works budget which gets reported each month to the council meetings. So it's listed in this month's council meeting. It's a figure of $30,000. I have heard suggestions that it's being paid directly to the market operator. That is incorrect. That money that was allocated in the budget was actually designed for a consideration as to whether a council installed some form of bollards in the main street at some stage. That's what the allocation was, there's been no decision taken about whether we actually do that or not. Council entertained that during the budget deliberation process which was back in March to May, March to June, and decided to allocate $30,000. But in terms of a payment or something like that to the operator, that's not correct."

    Cr Shaw said the wording of the budget line item relating to the allocation may have caused some confusion. Mr Lester said this may have been part of the problem. "But the other part of the problem is that regardless of whether it was actually cash money, council did provide, in-kind, workers etc, to set up some of this stuff, so  regardless of what accounting procedure you may use, there is ratepayers' money being spent on a private business," Mr Lester said.

    The mayor responded that the council had an events management policy which had a budget allocation to assist events with in-kind support and set-up costs, and this was not restricted to community-run events. He referred to assistance given to a sculpture trail on private property at Mt Field which had brought people into the community.

    A voice in the gallery said he would obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN) and claim a share of the funding. "Create an event and ask council," the mayor replied.

    Following up on the same matter, Mr Wayne Shoobridge said the minutes of the meeting that approved the licence for the market had said part of the $30,000 could be used to train the market operator in traffic management. The mayor and general manager said this was not the case, and invited regional development officer Jess Dallas to comment. "The licence for the market operator, which was also in the minutes, clearly stipulate that the cost of training to gain traffic management qualifications must be borne by the market operator," Ms Dallas said. Mr Shoobridge said he would stand corrected until had a chance to review the minutes.  "Read the licence as well, because it is in the licence," Ms Dallas said. [The market licence agreement does not form part of the minutes of the meeting where the licence was granted but can be found in the minutes of the July council meeting].

    With no further questions, the mayor called for motions from the floor, and asked Mr Darren Graham to speak. "I move a motion that we have got no confidence in this council," Mr Graham responded. The motion was seconded by Mr Lester. Mr Graham said he had nothing further to add.

    Mr Shoobridge asked to speak, and said it had become apparent over the last six months that certain councillors had an agenda of not opening-up the council to the public, but closing it. "You have now got an agenda item in the general meeting tonight to move your meetings to 5 o'clock, or 5.30, no public forum [and] and the only public forums you are going to have are going to be those out in the bush - that's according to your motion that's on the table. That being the case, you are now forcing people from New Norfolk, if they want to go to a public forum, to go out to these country areas and overtake and maybe disrupt the meetings out in the bush.

    Cr Shaw interrupted Mr Shoobridge's remarks. "No. So, at the end of the day there's, sorry..."
    Mr Shoobridge continued: "This council should be opening up, not closing."
    Cr Shaw: "I agree."
    Mr Graham: "You're one that's trying to do it."
    Cr Shaw: "I agree. So, you've still got public question time as well, and it is a motion on notice tonight for consideration so we can't speak too much but there's also another motion tonight for our communication strategy which actually allows for more community engagement outside of this room. So we're actually opening up further. So if you read the communications strategy...
    Mr Graham: "You can't communicate in here, you've got all the bloody doors locked."
    Cr Shaw: "That's not what we're talking about, we're going outside outside to different events."
    Various voices interjecting.
    Cr Shaw: "Well there's a new communications strategy that hasn't been in place before, to actually try and communicate better with the Derwent Valley ratepayers and the community.  So, have a look at it, it's in the agenda tonight. It's still a work in progress as such but it will be the starting point and there hasn't been one for a long time.

    Mr Dave Curtis then called for the re-opening of the areas in the council offices that were now behind locked doors. "I mean what happens for somebody like me that's been done over, over the last three and a half years? I can't talk to anybody. I did talk to councillors, many of them, but not one of them brought it to a meeting. We need the place opened up. We own you. We need to be able to get to you. If we can't get to you we don't want you."

    Mr Lester was next to speak. "I support the motion. The council is spending a huge amount of money on staff - extra staff - and I don't see any return or benefit to the ratepayers, so that's why I will be supporting the motion. I just think we spend far too much on staff."

    At this point, 33 minutes into the meeting, the mayor put the no-confidence motion to the vote. Resolving the outcome would occupy the next 10 minutes. Calling for a show of hands from those in favour of the motion, he counted 13. A voice from the gallery said "15" and Mr Winton said he had also counted 15. Cr Shaw recounted the vote and arrived at 14 after excluding one person, saying: "I believe you mentioned before you are not an elector in the area."

    Cr Shaw then called for those voting against the motion to raise their hands. He counted 12 votes but several in the gallery said it was 11. The vote was counted again and arrived at 12. "And the rest abstained," Mr Winton said. "The rest abstained," Cr Shaw said. Mr Winton said to the mayor: "I'll do the numbers afterwards [and] work that out." There was then a question about how the "Yes" and "No" votes had totalled 26. Cr Shaw said there were 27 people in the room and three had indicated they couldn't vote." He added there were seven councillors voting also.

    The mayor announced that the motion was lost, and called for any further motions. A general hubbub  broke out, with multiple voices speaking at the same time.

    Mr Shoobridge: "Hey?"
    Various voices: "No."
    Mr Winton (quietly): "The motion is carried."
    Cr Shaw: "Oh, sorry, carried."
    Mr Winton (laughing quietly): "The motion is carried."
    Mr Butterworth: "How can it be lost?"
    Mr Winton (laughing quietly): ""The motion is carried."
    Cr Shaw: "Sorry."
    Mr Graham: "Seriously you need to go back to school."
    Cr Shaw: "Carried."
    Laughter.
    A voice: "One and one is two."
    Mr Lester: "Fourteen and eleven."
    Mr Winton (quietly): "Fourteen were For..."
    Cr Shaw (quietly) : "It's against, it's lost."
    Mr Winton (quietly): "...Twelve and there's abstentions, so just clarify for them."
    Cr Shaw (quietly): "So the abstentions are a No."
    Mr Winton (quietly): "Go for another vote, and say just to clarify people that abstain are voting against the motion."

    Cr Shaw: "So just to clarify, everybody in the room, the people that are abstaining from voting, it's a 'No' vote, so it's a vote for 'No'.
    Multiple voices: "No it's not."
    A voice: "Abstaining is no vote."
    Multiple voices challenged the mayor's explanation of the definition of abstaining from voting, with several voices raised briefly.
    A voice: "That's bulls..t."
    Another voice: "You're making this up."
    Cr Shaw: "An abstention is a 'No'.
    Mr Graham: "Seriously Ben, you need to wake up."
    Cr Shaw: "It's the principles of local government meeting procedures, that's what it is. It's local government meeting procedures, not me making it up."
    Mr Graham: "If they go and vote and don't put nothing in the bin, they haven't voted."
    Mr Butterworth: "Absolute bulls..t."
    Cr Shaw: "It's not."

    General manager Greg Winton, left, and Mayor Ben Shaw
    discussing the voting on the no-confidence motion at the AGM.
    After a little more toing and froing, Cr Shaw said he would take the vote again. He started by asking again for a show of hands from those in the room who were not eligible to vote in the Derwent Valley, which was three.

    The mayor then counted the total number of eligible voters in the room and reached 29, plus seven councillors. Council staff and media were not included as voters and did not vote. "So now that everybody understands, and everybody understands the numbers, I will put the motion again so we can actually find out everybody's feelings. The general manager will just clarify," he said.

    Mr Winton: "Mr Mayor, councillors, ladies and gentlemen, just to be clear, the motion that was moved by Mr Graham, seconded by Mr Lester, that there is a no-confidence motion in this council.
    So that's what you're voting on. So if you put your hand up for that motion, you're expressing a motion of no-confidence in this council. So that's the 'Fors'. The people who put up [their hand] and  say 'No', they're not supporting the motion of no-confidence. Those people that don't vote - apart from those three that aren't electors - those people that don't put their hand up at all, under the Local Government Meeting Procedures, which is what...

    A voice: "Absolute bulls..t."
    Various voices muttering.
    Another voice in the gallery: "Just listen!"

    Mr Winton continued: "...which is what was referred to at the front of the agenda where there's a spiel on how to run this AGM, we follow the Local Government Meeting Procedures. And those Local Government Meeting Procedures essentially say when someone's in the room and they don't vote on a matter and they abstain, it means that it's recorded as a 'No' vote. Essentially it's what ends up happening. So just to be clear, if you can go 'For', you are voting for a no-confidence motion. If you vote "No, I'm against it" that's against that no-confidence motion. If you don't put your hand up at all, it will be recorded as abstaining and in effect that's a 'No' vote."

    Six councillors voted against the motion of no-confidence
    in the council.
    Mr Curtis: "That's not... the word doesn't mean that. If you abstain..."
    Cr Shaw: "That's what the Local Government regulations actually say in meeting procedures."
    Mr Curtis said this was meddling with the English language.
    Cr Shaw said he was going to put the motion, but was interrupted by Mr Butterworth who said he would make a legal challenge if the mayor went ahead. "OK, you can do that," Cr Shaw said.
    Mr Buterworth: "If you abstain you are not included in the vote."
    Cr Shaw: "Well you can take that through the right process but we've been instructed to run this meeting under the guidelines of the Local Government Meeting Procedures. So, I put the motion of no-confidence in the council. All those for the motion? Fifteen. All those against? Thirteen. Therefore there's..."
    Cr Shaw (quietly): "How many abstentions?"
    Mr Winton (quietly): "We've got 33 people who can vote, we've got  28 [votes], which means we had five people abstain."
    Cr Shaw (quietly): "So it's five people abstaining, so it's lost? The motion is lost.
    Mr Winton (quietly): "Correct."
    Cr Shaw (quietly): "Which is what I said in the first place. So five people abstaining."
    Cr Shaw (addressing the room): "So the motion has been put."
    Mr Winton (addressing the room): "So there was 15 people in favour of the motion of no-confidence. There was 13 people that voted against the motion of no-confidence and, as a consequence of that, that's 28 people, that's 33 people that are able to vote, so that means five people abstained. So, 15 were For, 13 were Against and 5 Abstained, so 13 plus 5 is 18 so that means that the motion is lost."
    Cr Shaw: "Which is the call I made on it. Correct. Thank you."
    Mr Butterworth: "I'll take that to the Local Government tomorrow."
    Cr Shaw: "Thank you. Any further motions? No? OK. Item 6: Close. There being no further business, I will close the meeting at 6.14."
    Cr Julie Triffett: "Thanks Ben."
    A woman stormed out of the courtroom, saying "karma is a c...t" on her way.

    At this point the general manager quietly asked the mayor if he wanted to start the public forum which had been scheduled to be held between the AGM and the monthly meeting. The mayor emphatically rejected the idea, and invited those in the room to have a cup of tea or coffee in the 15 minutes until the monthly meeting was due to start. Mr Shoobridge objected, saying the council had advertised that the forum would be held. The mayor said he was happy to take any questions and the forum went ahead as planned, lasting about 16 minutes until the monthly meeting started at 6.33pm. At 6.28pm deputy mayor Jessica Cosgrove published a post on Facebook stating: "FINALLY!!! The rumour circulating that the council gave me as the operator of the New Norfolk market $30,000 cash (and to train me) has been publicly shut down!! Also a motion of no confidence in this council was NOT carried!! Now let’s get on to focusing on the positives and what we were elected to do!!"

    It is hoped that this article will allow readers to decide for themselves whether or not councillors were bullied and/or intimidated during the annual general meeting. The audio recording is available here. This article is more than 5500 words in length. If you find any errors of fact, spelling or transcription, please get in touch.