Lynn Dickinson, Pottsville
According to the NSW Government website, ‘under Section 220 of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) a council is a body corporate. That is, by virtue of the Act, councils are corporations. Most recent case law supports the view that councils would, in most circumstances, be trading corporations.’
The Act states that ‘a law of the State applies to and in respect of a council in the same way it applies to and in respect of a body corporate (including a corporation)’.
As a corporation/body corporate, Council would have a right to employ or not employ whoever they like based on what they believe is best for the corporation, ie the community. The Council has opposed the hospital on the state significant farmland Cudgen site in the best interests of the community. Katie Milne as Mayor is acting in the best interests of the community and reflecting the Council’s right to decide who they employ. If Council decides not employ entities who are not aligned with their stance on an issue, they have the right to do so.
The Council has plenty of local businesses from which to choose when accepting tenders, so it is appropriate that Council would give preference to those who are aligned with Council’s stance on an issue. After all, the council is the democratically elected voice of the community.
Good on you, Katie Milne, for your attempts to put up a motion for Council to consider in the best interests of the community they represent. As a State MP, I would expect that Geoff Provest should be aware of the above State Government legislation, and that Cr Milne was within her rights to raise this issue with Council and that he is not within his rights to call for her resignation. This looks to me like a political point-scoring play to his National Party supporters.