Roebuck’s council battle is not over
THERE has been a strange twist in Colin and Monica Roebuck’s development application saga with Livingstone Shire Council.
In sensational circumstances on Tuesday, when the matter was set to be tabled for ratification (formal consent) by councillors, five of them declared possible conflicts of interest.
What unfolded on Tuesday was truly bizarre as only weeks earlier, all councillors (except Glenda Mather who was ejected for her conduct that day) had voted on the Roebuck’s application for a six-lot subdivision on Bungundarra Rd which was subsequently approved and subject to conditions.
So what had transpired since then for councillors Pat Eastwood, Tom Wyatt, Adam Belot, Glenda Mather and Mayor Bill Ludwig to now be worried about possible conflicts of interest?
The reasons were not discussed at Tuesday’s meeting but it’s understood they relate to a recent complaint made about the way some councillors had handled the process for the Roebuck’s Bungundarra Road development application.
After getting council approval on September 17, the Roebuck’s thought their three-year battle with bureaucracy was over.
All that was left for the council to do was to ratify the conditions on the approved application.
But after witnessing Tuesday’s events from the public gallery of council chambers, Mrs Roebuck said she and her husband had been left feeling frustrated once again.
“The councillors can’t explain because of confidentiality what it (possible conflict) is,” she said.
“Because of that, people are going to doubt our honesty as well.
“We’ve got no idea what’s going to happen now.”
After five councillors declared possible conflicts of interest, only Crs Nigel Hutton and Jan Kelly would have been left to discuss this matter (no quorum), so the council meeting was adjourned while legal advice was sought.
Under the Local Government Act, in that situation, the only thing that could be done was delegate the matter to the council’s CEO Chris Murdoch.
Therefore it will now be up to her to set the conditions on the Roebuck’s application, with guidance from council officers who originally recommended the council reject the application.