The inaugural meeting of the newly formed MidCoast Council held in Forster last week came to an abrupt halt after only six minutes, making headlines around the country.
Government-appointed Administrator John Turner opened the meeting at 2pm as members from Knitting Nannas Against Gas chanted and waved placards featuring images of Mr Turner and the captions, ‘We didn’t vote for you’ and ‘Baird Kills Democracy’.
The protestors, representing Great Lakes, Gloucester and Downstream Knitting Nannas raised their unified voices calling out, “What do we want? Democracy.”
And, “Out, out, out” drowning Mr Turner’s attempts to conduct the meeting.
With no let-up from the protesters, Mr Turner was forced to adjourn the meeting before moving it to a closed session.
Knitting Nannas member Dominique Jacobs told News Of The Area the group was protesting against the appointment of an administrator who wasn’t a democratically elected official.
“We believe that we should have an independent administrator and waiting for next year’s election is too far off,” Ms Jacobs said.
“We also object to all our Councillors being sacked and the way it was done, we thought it was unfair that they were informed the same time as everyone else through the media.”
Ms Jacobs said group members were planning to attend future MidCoast Council meetings.
Interim General Manager Glenn Handford said the Council meeting was well attended.
“The meeting included a very vocal and passionate group opposed to the merger,”
“Although the meeting was disrupted, all items on the business paper were successfully dealt with and we will now move forward with implementation of that business,” said Mr Handford.
“Council acknowledges the point of view of those who attended the meeting and looks forward to building productive relationships into the future,” he said.
After the meeting was initially disrupted, it successfully reconvened later with all items on the business paper successfully dealt with.
It has been reported that protests also caused the first meeting of the newly formed Inner West Council in Sydney to be suspended on Tuesday night.
By Daniel SAHYOUN