Oates sows seeds of discontent

By Rebecca Fraser
MYUNA Ward councillor Brian Oates has slammed Casey Council for being too political.
Cr Oates has also accused councillors of “grandstanding” instead of focusing on the “real problems” and said “personal and political sniping” must stop.
The call followed a motion put forward at Tuesday night’s council meeting by Springfield Ward councillor Ben Clissold.
Cr Clissold moved that council write to Premier Steve Bracks requesting his position on, and a commitment to, funding the Cranbourne Pool, bus services linking Casey’s coastal villages to Pearcedale and Cranbourne, the Cranbourne East rail extension and the Cranbourne Bypass.
He said that with the upcoming State election it was important that council started to express their future needs to seek a financial commitment.
“We need to put issues before the relevant people at the relevant time otherwise we might miss out for another three or four years,” he said.
But Cr Oates deemed the motion politically motivated and said there was still too much politicisation in council.
He also accused Cr Clissold of deferring Federal Government items at Tuesday’s meeting instead of State Government matters.
“Politicisation is rampant and people (councillors) are frightened to stand up and speak,” Cr Oates said.
“This is a veiled attack and we are bringing up ideas that have already been discussed.
“I will be voting against this motion because of this,” he said.
Strathard Ward councillor Lorraine Wreford disagreed with the comments and said it was council’s responsibility to lobby the government for funds.
“Our job is to lobby the State Government and that is an important role of councillors,” she said.
“Maybe we should send a letter to the opposition as well and hedge our bets both ways.
“Everyone here wants them so what is the point of voting against them because they are too political,” she said.
Mayor Neil Lucas also expressed some confusion.
“A couple of motions ago I moved to lobby the Transport Minister and that was not deemed political. How do you work out what is political and what is not?” he asked.

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