Councillor’s social media outburst gained support

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CAMPASPE Shire councillor Leigh Wilson has claimed he was censored by fellow councillors at the most recent council meeting.

In a video posted by Cr Wilson to his public Facebook page, he claimed the public had the right to know about a significant investment by council throughout the next three years.

The posting and the criticism would also appear to be breaches of the shire’s media policy.

It comes after Cr Wilson put forward a notice of motion at the August 20 ordinary council meeting for a council policy and strategy review.

The motion had no objectors however during the discussion fellow councillors called a point of order when Cr Wilson was discussing information not believed to be relevant to the original motion.

“My intent is to rectify – even if it is only my own frustration – time and time again council making decisions that are outside of policy or strategy and that leave me flummoxed,” Cr Wilson said while introducing the item at the meeting.

Mayor Adrian Weston addressed Cr Wilson after the point of order was called in regards to tourism investment and asked for the discussion to stay on topic.

“For the purposes of the debate, I’d ask you to pull back the comment,” Cr Weston said.

“At this point in the course of the debate it is an opportunity for the mover to respond… but it’s not really the opportunity to introduce new items and secondly, we’re drifting away from what is being proposed as a motion.

“I understand the passion… but I’m simply asking in the name of continuing the meeting that you withdraw and modify the language Cr Wilson.”

The following days after the meeting Cr Wilson posted the video, going into greater detail about the comment he was stopped from making.

“I was censored by the mayor for talking about, what I believe, are very important topics that the ratepayers of Campaspe Shire deserve to know,” he said.

“I even asked the mayor, ‘I just want to be clear, I’m being censored on this?’ And the mayor replied, ‘yeah’.”

Cr Daniel Mackrell later said the debate represented a ’lack of transparency’.

“This is the first time in my time as a councillor that a total disregard for the process and transparency was allowed to be played out,” he said.

“I am bitterly disappointed in the professionalism of our chair Adrian Weston as to what has occurred, it is unheard of in the time from now to back to amalgamation that a councillor was censored.”

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