Tensions flare at packed council meeting

There was a packed public gallery of more than 50 residents for last week’s council meeting.

Tensions flared at last Thursday night’s packed council meeting with Cobar Shire Council’s general manager Peter Vlatko forced to call on councillors and members of the gallery to show respect to the meeting chamber.

The public gallery was full with more than 50 people, including many local business owners, there to hear a presentation about free camping issues.

Mr Vlatko said all councillors, staff and community members participating in council meetings must act with good intentions and behave to a standard of conduct.

He said council meeting protocol also did not permit gallery members to make comments nor ask questions during the meeting.

Mr Vlatko described the outbursts at last Thursday’s meeting as “an embarrassing disgrace”.

At one stage during the meeting, mayor (and meeting chair) Lilliane Brady, had cause to reprimand Cr Peter Yench.

After taking offence to being laughed at by members of the gallery Cr Yench then offered to “take the matter outside” with one of the gallery members.

Mayor Brady called the meeting to order and demanded Cr Yench return to his seat and make an apology, which he later did.

Mr Vlatko said he spoke to Cr Yench after the meeting about his outburst.

“It was totally inappropriate behaviour. He got up and left his chair during the meeting.

“He can’t challenge someone like that, Mr Vlatko said.

Councillors are yet to decide if a breach of code of conduct report is to be made on Cr Yench’s actions at the meeting.