Saturday, May 18, 2019

Mayor's statement on distillery approval process

THIS is the unedited* text of Derwent Valley mayor Ben Shaw's Facebook post, published yesterday in relation to Thursday night's council meeting.

"So we had a council meeting last night.
For the main it all went as normal and pretty much to schedule.
We did have the very important and very topical DA of the first stage of the potential New Norfolk Rum Distillery.
It’s been reported today and lots of commentary around this DA not being voted on as a failing of this council.
Let’s get some facts and not sensationalise the issue.
We currently have 1 councillor, Cr Belcher on approved leave,
Last night we had another, Cr Browning who unfortunately was sick and called in a few hours before the meeting that he wasn’t attending.
Then when it got to the vote on the DA we had. 2 councillors, Cr Salt and Cr Power declare conflicts of interest in the Application. (Which should be done if there is any thought of conflict)
This then amounts to not having enough councillors to form an official quorum to vote.. these are the rules , not something made up it’s just the rules...
Working on this today the proponent has given council a few more weeks to decide on the DA and subsequently this would result in a special meeting to deal with this Application.
So if you have all the correct facts I think you can see it’s an Unfortunate circumstance that all interested parties would be disappointed in.
However any suggestions that this was a failing of our council is just wrong and scaremongering from people who have other reasons to bag council out.
Any questions regarding this please contact me anytime I’m more than happy to give you the facts.
Have a great weekend."

*This is the second version of the statement after the mayor's own editing of the first version.


  1. Where is the business plan to back up some of these claims? Too many wild claims and selling off the towns assets have lead to the state that we find most buildings in the area with the very clear exception of the Council own section. Most people think that we are talking about the privately owned sections around woolworth, how disappointed are they going to be when the family explain their DA is about 100 square metres in an out of sight and out of mind location. Sorry those buildings and cars are still going to be there!

  2. The General Manager would have been aware that there could have been a problem with having a quorum. That being the case he could have and probably should have followed the Tasmanian Meeting procedures and made a phone call to the Minister. The Minister may have given the GM permission to allow the 2 Councillors who stepped out to remain in the room so a quorum was reached. In this case they would not be allowed to vote or speak but the others in the room could have dealt with this issue. Yes, the Council stuffed it yet again.

    1. Mission thinking in practice seeking advice/help and working towards a solution. This observation makes sense in light the a quo*RUM is about the numbers in the room to make the proceedings valid. So much learning to be had I see that as a good thing. Take away message going forward do the hard work/research before making the informed decision to wear one's heart on their sleve in all walks of life.

  3. I'd just like to know what stated interest the two councillors who left the meeting have please? I understand councillor Salt might be considered to have an interest because she is on the Willow Court Friends committee (nothing pecuniary there as far as I can see), but councillor Power?