One would have thought that at least fellow Green councillor Tony Richardson would have been primed to second her motion.

But when Smith’s motion was read out as an agenda item by mayor Robert Armstrong — in a gabble that gave the gallery almost no chance of understanding what it was all about — there was stony silence.

Not one of the six councillors who might have thought a measure designed to get the council out of its breach of the law deigned it worth seconding.

Next item!

A few minutes later, Richardson mumbled something about a “senior moment” and said, across the council chamber to Smith, words to the effect, “Sorry about that Liz”.

Richardson did, a few moments later, ask the chair if it was too late to retrieve the position and for him to be allowed to second Smith’s motion.

No chance, ruled the chair, with not a moment’s hesitation.

And so council spurned a public opportunity to set about legalising itself within the terms of the Local Government Act.

Shakespeare could not have scripted it better.

The marginalised Smith — whose every effort to stimulate policy debate on anything at all seems to be short-circuited by a council that is transparently hostile to her — had been put in her place once again.

Yet she should be smiling this week.

There’s talk of movement at the council station, and the word is getting round that — surprise, surprise — a “workshop” is imminent, perhaps even this week, to talk about a new strategic plan.

Looks a bit as if there may have been more to the theatre the public gallery witnessed last Wednesday evening than might at first have met the eye.

And, by the way, talk from the public gallery suggests some of Huon Valley Council’s expert, and independent, financial inquisitors are not yet loosening their grip on a once juicy bone — originally worth $4 million of HVC money — that no longer appears to have any meat on it all.





Bob Hawkins
HUON Valley Council is in breach of the Local Government Act. The act requires all councils to have a Strategic Plan.

Huon Valley Council has not had a strategic plan since its last one expired in 2007.

At last week’s council meeting in Huonville (February 11), Greens councillor Liz Smith attempted to stimulate debate on a new strategic plan but, as usual, her motion — like almost every motion she put ups — was thwarted, this time by not even getting a seconder.