The proposal to build a Hindu temple in High street in McGraths Hill came before Council at the last meeting and was narrowly approved. The vote was tied six-all and was approved on the Mayor’s casting vote. I spoke and voted against the proposal. The councillors who voted for and against the proposal are listed in the following table:
Voted for the Hindu temple
Voted against the proposal
|Councillor Barry Calvert (Labor)||Councillor Paul Rasmussen (Ind)|
|Councillor Patrick Conolly (Lib)||Councillor John Ross (Ind)|
|Councillor Amanda Kotlash (Labor)||Councillor Emma-Jane Garrow (Ind)|
|Councillor Lyons-Buckett (Ind)||Councillor Peter Reynolds (Ind/Labor)|
|Councillor Sarah Richards (Lib)||Councillor Danielle Wheeler (Greens)|
|Councillor Tiffany Tree (Lib)||Councillor Nathan Zamprogno (Lib)|
There is no doubt that this matter has been divisive, and I am aware of the strength of feeling that was expressed at the meeting from the gallery and on social media. However, my job was to examine the application before me and to consider it on its merits.
Tonight, I had the opportunity to attend a public meeting at McGraths Hill where the community expressed its frustration at the approval of a development with so many flaws. Only one other Councillor, Clr. Ross, was present.
I felt quite proud of the civility with which people spoke. These were ordinary people– tradies, retirees and professionals, voicing well-thought-through concerns about their perception of deficiencies in leadership and of process at Council. Neither race nor religion were mentioned, nor was any bigotry manifested. The most common sentiment expressed was “great idea, wrong spot”. Frankly, apart from a very small minority of noisy online ranters who were not even present at the meeting tonight, the stereotype of “objectors as racists” was completely disproven.
This post does not intend to prosecute the argument for or against the development, nor to reflect on my worthy colleagues who were entitled to vote as they chose. We differed in opinion– and were entitled to. This is the process we engage in.
However, I will say that the purpose of this website is to communicate with the community. Each Councillor must account for the stance they have taken to their electorate, and I was glad to be able to stand among local residents and answer to them. A recording of my (brief) remarks are below: