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Friday, May 18, 2018

Council sit-in man comes forward

Mr Butterworth provided the New Norfolk
News with this document which he says
supports his position that Local Government
in Australia is unconstitutional if not
unlawful or illegal.
SERIAL questioner Len Butterworth has identified himself as the man who forced an early end to last night's Derwent Valley Council meeting. Mr Butterworth said he was making a stand for transparency when he refused to leave the meeting as it moved from an open session to a closed one.

The New Norfolk resident has been a regular presence in the public gallery at Derwent Valley and Glenorchy City Council meetings for a number of years. He has frequently challenged the legality of local government and has had a long-running interest in what he describes as irregularities in the sale of the Royal Derwent Hospital and the dispersal of its goods and chattels.

It is understood that Mr Butterworth was the last member of the public in attendance when deputy mayor Ben Shaw attempted to convene a closed meeting of the Derwent Valley Council around 9pm yesterday.

Several members of the council staff were present to assist councillors with their closed agenda, which included a report on kerbside waste services; two proposals conduct tours at Willow Court; a proposal to film a documentary at Willow Court; and the closed senior management report.

Mr Butterworth told the New Norfolk News he had long been concerned about the lack of transparency at the council and the increasing number of closed meetings it held, and decided last night was the time to make a stand. "I was demonstrating my concern pertaining to closed meetings where discussions do not allow the ratepayer to contribute in any form," Mr Butterworth said earlier today.

"I have thought to myself I should do that, and when I received constitutional advice that councils are not legal, I thought I should not adhere to a request to leave," he said. "The deputy mayor verbally advised me of the warning that he could call the police and have me evicted. I suggested that I would make that call on his behalf. Postponing the meeting to the following Thursday at the council chambers was the deputy mayor's decision."

"Transparency is something that all councils maintain they are working towards," Mr Butterworth said. "Is that a position of only looking in the mirror so they get their own reflection and the ratepayers receiving nothing?"

Mr Butterworth said the deferral of the meeting led to a row between councillors over the date and time for the rescheduled meeting. Six of the councillors present were able to attend next Thursday but one was not, he said. Mr Butterworth said the councillor concerned then stormed out before being excused from the meeting by the deputy mayor. (The councillor involved will not be named by the New Norfolk News until this has been independently verified).

1 comment:

  1. Mr Butterworth is quite right, this council has become a closed Shop. A lot of the agenda items being dealt with in closed sessions should be in open meetings. Chris Lester.