Cessnock Councillors vote for a free lunch

A very disappointing vote at Council last night. An outrageous free lunch CCC Buildingwith no public benefit. See the Newcastle Herald coverage here

James Ryan

Cessnock Councillors vote for a free lunch

Cessnock Council last night voted to continue to receive free tickets to a $129 lunch put on by the Property Council of Australia.

Greens Councillor James Ryan said ‘Last nights’ vote was disappointing. I believe Cessnock Council has slipped back into its bad old ways, offering councillors a free lunch at a cost of $129 per head to come out of ratepayers’ money.

The lunch event is put on by the Property Council of Australia and will feature a guest speaker from LWP Pty Ltd on the massive Huntlee development. Huntlee is expected to have 20,000 people, swamping the villages of Branxton and North Rothbury, and destroying high conservation value bushland.

‘I have been informed by the General Manager that Council purchased a full table for the Property Council lunch.’ Said Clr Ryan.

‘Essentially this is a property marketing exercise. If Council believes that there is some benefit in listening to the developer then they should be inviting them to give a presentation to a Council meeting which is open to the public, instead of spending ratepayers’ money on a private function which most of our residents could not afford to attend.’ said Clr Ryan.

In the same week that Councillors were offered the free lunch the Council sent a memo to reassure Councillors that it had not spent any money at all on a community education workshop put on by the Environmental Defenders Office.’

The Council memos are attached to this media release.

‘It is particularly hypocritical for the Council to spend ratepayers’ dollars on free lunches while going out of it way to reassure Councillors that not a cent had been spent on a community education workshop.’ said Clr Ryan.

‘I believe Council should be helping our residents first and foremost.’

‘Last night I moved that as a matter of urgency Council should obtain a refund of the $1290 spent on the Councillors’ lunch tickets and spend the money on events which benefit our residents.’

It was disappointing that only Independent Councillor Ian Olsen supported the motion

James Ryan

Mob. 0414 922 591

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