Hulin's saleyards concerns ‘ignored’ by council

DEBATE over the future of Warrnambool’s saleyards is likely to return to city council following an apparent omission of several proposals last week.

At the meeting Cr Peter Hulin raised three points in a notice of motion, which focused on the future of the saleyards, potential independent operator Regional Infrastructure Proprietor Limited (RIPL) and a potential inter-council meeting with Moyne Shire.

Only one of the three points, which proposed the city council not continue to negotiate with RIPL, were discussed in detail, Cr Hulin claimed.

He said the lack of discussion on the other two matters was a clear sign Warrnambool mayor Michael Neoh was trying to shut down debate on the subject.

But the city’s leader fired back, saying the matter was discussed at the meeting and no objections were raised by any of the six councillors present.

Cr Kylie Gaston was absent from this month’s meeting due to annual leave.

“There’s been several instances in the past where the mayor has overlooked a notice of motion that I’ve put forward, which is clearly undemocratic,” Cr Hulin said.

“I can accept there might have been an oversight in the past but when it keeps happening like this, it is clear the mayor is trying to shut down debate.

“We discussed the first point, which was heard at the April 7 meeting, but the other two issues were effectively ignored.”

The second issue raised by Cr Hulin called for the city council to continue to manage the Caramut Road saleyards and to include the site’s operational and management income, as well as expenditure requirements, in the 2014-15 municipal budget.

The third issue raised by Cr Hulin related to Warrnambool City holding a meeting with Moyne Shire to discuss the long-term planning requirements for a regional livestock exchange.

Such a meeting was flagged in the Warrnambool Livestock Exchange reference group report released four years ago at the height of debate over the future of the Caramut Road site.

Cr Neoh said council chief executive Bruce Anson would discuss the matter with Cr Hulin.

“I am confident that the right processes were observed and the notice of motion was heard,” the mayor said.

“It was clear to everyone at the meeting what transpired and there were no objections raised during the meeting.”

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