Robe District Council again discussed the current plans for the contentious foreshore fence at this month’s council meeting.
Council acknowledged the correspondence received from Binge Rivaz and Steven Phillips in regard to the fence, also discussing plans to invite the Mutual Liability Scheme to provide elected members with information on council’s responsibilities regarding management risk as well as implications of not adhering with them.
“I’d like to acknowledge the response received from Ms Rivaz and Mr Phillips and recognise that they speak for a significant community volume,” Cr Lawrie Polomka said.
Mayor Peter Riseley responded: “I will also acknowledge there’s a lot of people that aren’t represented here that also asked elected members to speak on their behalf.”
“I’m sorry, I’m not quite with you,” Cr Polomka questioned.
Mayor Riseley responded: “I've been approached Cr Polomka as you probably have by people over the years who say that you are elected to make decisions and I don't want to have to come to you about every petty matter, you are elected to make decisions and if I want to voice a different opinion, I will. That's what people are telling me regularly.
“That’s why I basically pointed out in my mayor’s report that we need a referendum so we get a totally representative point of view from a majority of the ratepayers to decide on this.”
Cr Polomka thanked the mayor for bringing up those points, bringing him to the advice that the council received through its insurers, adding that it is important that council continue to discuss risk management regularly.
“All councils contribute with the cost of insurance, yes, the cost of successful claims are spread across all councils. Well I think some of these other councils should get off their bum and start lifting their weight! Are we the only people trying to comply? I mean we all walk around with our eyes open, I’ve just been to Tasmania I think they should close Tasmania, the risks there are absolutely appalling!
“In fact, people got sick of me saying ‘it should be fenced.’ All councils work very hard reducing their insurance claims, well yes I’m sure we do, but you will never eliminate risk.”
The mayor responded to Cr Polomka’s comments, adding what the recommendation involves.
“There’s two main points to that recommendation. We’re not here to have a big debate on this this evening, its just to acknowledge the correspondence and to ensure that we invite Mutual Liability scheme.”
Cr Loxton expressed his view on the situation.
“Well I won’t be voting for this but if it gets up I’d like that mutual liability thing to be at the next council meeting. I just don’t think we need to go through it again. I’ve got a motion of notice for later on that I believe covers it pretty well.”
Cr Nunan expressed her concern, adding that the council shouldn’t make any rash decisions before talking to those that can help.
“Before we make any decisions I think we need to know what the consequences of our decisions will be and so we need the Mutual Liability people to come I don’t know if it needs to be at a council meeting because I think it needs to be a really open and honest discussion but we need to make good decisions.
“I don’t believe for one instance that we understand the ramifications of all of the different things pertaining and to the fence and to our coastline, this isn’t just about the fence it’s about everything. I cant find it in my heart to make a decisions until we’ve spoken to them. The sooner we can get them here I think the better off and the more clarity we will have in making a decision.”
Council resolved inviting the Mutual Liability Scheme to provide elected members with information on Council’s responsibilities in relation to the management risk after acknowledging the correspondence they received.