Ms Benton went on to say “The charcoal factory is incompatible with the Shire’s major industry, tourism and against the wishes of the majority of residents.”
“From the reaction of the gallery it was clear the public was in support of Mayor Cairney and his determination to ensure that the ratepayers of the Eurobodalla Shire were represented by open and accountable local government.”
The “People’s Mayor”, Peter Cairney, went out on a limb for the community at the last Eurobodalla Shire Council meeting to call for inquiry.
At a packed to capacity special meeting of Council on Tuesday the 4th December 2001, a motion was put to the Councillors by Mayor Cairney, that they support his call for a parliamentary inquiry into the improper handling of the charcoal proposal.
Mayor Cairney informed the audience, that on recent legal advice, he was compelled to put the motion forward as it could be alleged that some members of Council had misled the full Council and the public, on some critical issues associated with the proposed charcoal factory.
The Mayor appeared to be responding to previous calls from the public for open, honest and seamless process evaluation of significant developments.
Councilor Green objected to the motion on the basis that she was not provided with a copy of documented evidence to support the allegations. This lack of documentation was echoed by others including Clr. Dance. Further acrimonious discussion ensued with the ultimate outcome being a defeat of Mayor Cairney’s call for an inquiry, six votes opposed and three in support.