MINUTES


Extraordinary Council Meeting

 

 

Monday, 10 May 2021

7.45pm

 

 

 

Dragon Room

(Level 1, Georges River Civic Centre, Hurstville)

and

Skype Online Meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

PRESENT

COUNCIL MEMBERS

The Mayor, Councillor Kevin Greene, Deputy Mayor, Councillor Stephen Agius, Councillor Vince Badalati, Councillor Sam Elmir, Councillor Sandy Grekas, Councillor Con Hindi, Councillor Nick Katris, Councillor Lou Konjarski, Councillor Kathryn Landsberry, Councillor Nancy Liu, Councillor Leesha Payor, Councillor Colleen Symington and Councillor Warren Tegg.

COUNCIL STAFF

General Manager - Gail Connolly, Director Legal Services and General Counsel - Jenny Ware (remote attendance), Manager, Office of the General Manager - Roxanne Thornton, Executive Services Officer - Marina Cavar, Executive Services Officer - Ann-Marie Svorinic and Team Leader Technology Services - Garuthman De Silva.

 

ABSENT

COUNCIL MEMBERS

Councillor Christina Wu.

OPENING

The Mayor, Councillor Kevin Greene, opened the meeting at 7.45pm.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

The Mayor acknowledged the traditional custodians of the land, the Biddegal people.

APOLOGIES/LEAVE OF ABSENCE

RESOLVED: Councillor Hindi  and Councillor Tegg

That an apology be accepted for Councillor Kastanias and a leave of absence granted.

Record of Voting

For the Motion: Unanimous

NOTICE OF WEBCASTING

The Mayor advised staff and the public that the meeting is being recorded for minute-taking purposes and is also webcast live on Council’s website, in accordance with Section 4 of Council’s Code of Meeting Practice. This recording will be made available on Council’s website.

CODE OF MEETING PRACTICE

The order of business is as shown in the agenda.

Council’s Code of Meeting Practice prohibits the electronic recording of meetings without the express permission of Council.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

There were no disclosures of interest.

 

PUBLIC FORUM

Speaker

Report No.

Report Title

Peter Mahoney

(remote attendance)

CCL025A-21

 

 

 

CCL026A-21

DEFERRED ITEM FROM THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING OF 26 APRIL 2021 - (CCL019A-21) Confidential: Code of Conduct Investigation Report - Councillor Hindi

 

DEFERRED ITEM FROM THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING OF 26 APRIL 2021 - (CCL020A-21) Confidential: Code of Conduct Investigation Report - Councillor Grekas

PROCEDURAL MOTION

MOVE TO CLOSED SESSION

RESOLVED: Councillor Hindi and Councillor Landsberry

At this stage of the meeting being 7.54pm the Mayor, Councillor Greene, advised that the meeting would move into a Committee of the Whole to allow consideration of matters in Closed Session in accordance with Section 10A of The Local Government Act 1993. Accordingly, members of the press and public are excluded from the closed session and access to the correspondence and reports relating to the items considered during the course of the closed session will be withheld.

This action was taken to allow discussion of the following items:

CCL025A-21     DEFERRED ITEM FROM THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING OF 26 APRIL 2021 - (CCL019A-21) Confidential: Code of Conduct Investigation Report - Councillor Hindi

(Report by Chief Audit Executive)

That in accordance with the provisions of Part 1 of Chapter 4 of the Local Government Act 1993, the matters dealt with in this report be considered in closed Council Meeting at which the press and public are excluded. In accordance with Section 10A(2) (I) it is considered the matter alleged contraventions of any code of conduct requirements applicable under section 440 of the Local Government Act 1993.

That in accordance with Section 10D it is considered that if the matter were discussed in an open Council Meeting, it would on balance, be contrary to the public interest as it alleged contraventions of any code of conduct requirements applicable under section 440 of the Local Government Act 1993.

 

CCL026A-21     DEFERRED ITEM FROM THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING OF 26 APRIL 2021 - (CCL020A-21) Confidential: Code of Conduct Investigation Report - Councillor Grekas

(Report by Manager Governance and Risk)

That in accordance with the provisions of Part 1 of Chapter 4 of the Local Government Act 1993, the matters dealt with in this report be considered in closed Council Meeting at which the press and public are excluded. In accordance with Section 10A(2) (I) it is considered the matter alleged contraventions of any code of conduct requirements applicable under section 440 of the Local Government Act 1993.

That in accordance with Section 10D it is considered that if the matter were discussed in an open Council Meeting, it would on balance, be contrary to the public interest as it alleged contraventions of any code of conduct requirements applicable under section 440 of the Local Government Act 1993.

These matters will be considered in closed session in accordance with Section 10A(2) (I) as they deal with alleged contraventions of code of conduct requirements applicable under section 440 of the Local Government Act 1993.

The Mayor asked the General Manager if any representations had been received from the public that the item should not be discussed in closed session.

The General Manager replied that the earlier address to Council made in Public Forum from Mr Peter Mahoney was the only representation that had been received in relation to the closed session.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: Unanimous

Note:          Council moved to Closed Confidential Session at 7.56pm.

CLOSED SESSION – COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

CONFIDENTIAL ITEMS

Note:          Councillor Grekas and Councillor Tegg left the meeting at 7.58pm

Note:          Councillor Hindi was provided with an opportunity to address the meeting in regard to Item CCL025A-21, time being 7.58pm.

Note:          Councillor Hindi left the meeting at 8.01pm and did not participate in the discussion or voting on Item CCL025A-21.

Note:         The following Councillors were present for Item CCL025A-21 DEFERRED ITEM FROM THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING OF 26 APRIL 2021 - (CCL019A-21) Confidential: Code of Conduct Investigation Report - Councillor Hindi;

The Mayor, Councillor Greene, the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Agius and Councillors Badalati, Elmir, Katris, Konjarski, Landsberry, Liu, Payor and Symington.

Note:         The following staff were present during the consideration and voting of Item CCL025A-21 DEFERRED ITEM FROM THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING OF 26 APRIL 2021 - (CCL019A-21) Confidential: Code of Conduct Investigation Report - Councillor Hindi;

General Manager - Gail Connolly, Director Legal Services and General Counsel - Jenny Ware (remote attendance), Chief Audit Executive - Juliette Hall and Manager, Office of the General Manager - Roxanne Thornton.

CCL025A-21     DEFERRED ITEM FROM THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING OF 26 APRIL 2021 - (CCL019A-21) Confidential: Code of Conduct Investigation Report - Councillor Hindi

(Report by Chief Audit Executive)

MOTION: Councillor Elmir and Councillor Konjarski

That:

(a)     Council adopt the Conduct Reviewer’s/Investigators recommendation.

(b)     Pursuant to section 440G of the Local Government Act, 1993 (NSW)(LG Act), Councillor Con Hindi be formally censured by Council for breaching the Council’s Code of Conduct.

(c)     Should Council determine to censure Councillor Con Hindi, Council makes public the findings of inappropriate conduct by Councillor Con Hindi by publishing those findings in the Minutes as:

Allegation 1

It is alleged that on 16 December 2019, at the ordinary meeting of the Council, during the discussion of agenda item COM052-19 (relating to “Adoption of Georges River Place Name Policy 2019”), and with the meeting open to the public and being live broadcast on the Internet, you behaved in a manner that was likely to bring another councillor into disrepute.

The particulars of this allegation are as follows:

(a)     You made comments about Councillor Tegg suggesting that he engaged in the misuse of public money for a trip to Spain.

Finding

The external Conduct Reviewer/Investigator has found this allegation to be substantiated.

Allegation 3

It is alleged that on 16 December 2019, at the ordinary meeting of the Council, during the discussion of agenda item NM126-19 (relating to “Strategic Christmas Decorations in Georges River”), and with the meeting open to the public and being live broadcast on the Internet, you behaved in a manner that was aggressive, showed disregard for the safety of other people, and was likely to bring Council into disrepute.

The particulars of this allegation are as follows:

(a)     When told by the meeting chair to remove a packet of cheese from the meeting, you threw the packet of cheese into the public seating area where members of the public were seated at the time.

Finding

The external Conduct Reviewer/Investigator has found this allegation to be substantiated.

Allegation 4

It is alleged that on 16 December 2019, at the ordinary meeting of the Council, during the discussion of agenda item NM127-19 (relating to “Community Survey on Election of Mayor by Georges River Community”), and with the meeting open to the public and being live broadcast on the Internet, you behaved in a manner towards Council staff that was aggressive, demeaning, and was likely to bring Council into disrepute.

The particulars of this allegation are as follows:

(a)     You spoke in an aggressive and badgering manner to, and over the top of, a Council officer who had been asked to address the meeting.

Finding

The external Conduct Reviewer/Investigator has found Allegation 4 is substantiated in part.

Particular (a) is found to be substantiated.

Allegation 5

It is alleged that on 16 December 2019, at the ordinary meeting of the Council, during the discussion of agenda item NM127-19 (relating to “Community Survey on Election of Mayor by Georges River Community”), and with the meeting open to the public and being live broadcast on the Internet, you behaved in a manner towards Councillor Sandy Grekas that was harassing and bullying, and was likely to bring Council into disrepute.

The particulars of this allegation are as follows:

(a)     You belittled and demeaned Councillor Grekas by making a disparaging comment about her American accent.

(b)     You belittled and demeaned Councillor Grekas by making cat-like noises and gestures at her.

Finding

The external Conduct Reviewer/Investigator has found this allegation to be substantiated in both particulars.

 

AMENDMENT: Councillor Landsberry and Councillor Payor

(a)      That the report be received and noted.

(b)      That as the Conduct Reviewer has found that not all of the allegations have been substantiated, that Council not proceed to censure Councillor Hindi.

(c)       That Council, in accordance with Clause 7.61 of the Procedures for the Administration of the Code of Conduct, notify the matter to the Office of Local Government.

Record of Voting:

For the Amendment: Councillors Badalati, Landsberry and Payor

Against the Amendment: The Mayor, Councillor Greene, Deputy Mayor, Councillor Agius and Councillors Elmir, Katris, Konjarski, Liu and Symington

On being put to the meeting, voting on this Amendment was three (3) votes FOR and seven (7) votes AGAINST. The Amendment was LOST.

 

RESOLVED: Councillor Elmir and Councillor Konjarski

That:

(a)     Council adopt the Conduct Reviewer’s/Investigators recommendation.

(b)     Pursuant to section 440G of the Local Government Act, 1993 (NSW)(LG Act), Councillor Con Hindi be formally censured by Council for breaching the Council’s Code of Conduct.

(c)     Should Council determine to censure Councillor Con Hindi, Council makes public the findings of inappropriate conduct by Councillor Con Hindi by publishing those findings in the Minutes as:

Allegation 1

It is alleged that on 16 December 2019, at the ordinary meeting of the Council, during the discussion of agenda item COM052-19 (relating to “Adoption of Georges River Place Name Policy 2019”), and with the meeting open to the public and being live broadcast on the Internet, you behaved in a manner that was likely to bring another councillor into disrepute.

The particulars of this allegation are as follows:

(a)     You made comments about Councillor Tegg suggesting that he engaged in the misuse of public money for a trip to Spain.

Finding

The external Conduct Reviewer/Investigator has found this allegation to be substantiated.

Allegation 3

It is alleged that on 16 December 2019, at the ordinary meeting of the Council, during the discussion of agenda item NM126-19 (relating to “Strategic Christmas Decorations in Georges River”), and with the meeting open to the public and being live broadcast on the Internet, you behaved in a manner that was aggressive, showed disregard for the safety of other people, and was likely to bring Council into disrepute.

The particulars of this allegation are as follows:

(a)     When told by the meeting chair to remove a packet of cheese from the meeting, you threw the packet of cheese into the public seating area where members of the public were seated at the time.

Finding

The external Conduct Reviewer/Investigator has found this allegation to be substantiated.

Allegation 4

It is alleged that on 16 December 2019, at the ordinary meeting of the Council, during the discussion of agenda item NM127-19 (relating to “Community Survey on Election of Mayor by Georges River Community”), and with the meeting open to the public and being live broadcast on the Internet, you behaved in a manner towards Council staff that was aggressive, demeaning, and was likely to bring Council into disrepute.

The particulars of this allegation are as follows:

(a)     You spoke in an aggressive and badgering manner to, and over the top of, a Council officer who had been asked to address the meeting.

Finding

The external Conduct Reviewer/Investigator has found Allegation 4 is substantiated in part.

Particular (a) is found to be substantiated.

Allegation 5

It is alleged that on 16 December 2019, at the ordinary meeting of the Council, during the discussion of agenda item NM127-19 (relating to “Community Survey on Election of Mayor by Georges River Community”), and with the meeting open to the public and being live broadcast on the Internet, you behaved in a manner towards Councillor Sandy Grekas that was harassing and bullying, and was likely to bring Council into disrepute.

The particulars of this allegation are as follows:

(a)     You belittled and demeaned Councillor Grekas by making a disparaging comment about her American accent.

(b)     You belittled and demeaned Councillor Grekas by making cat-like noises and gestures at her.

Finding

The external Conduct Reviewer/Investigator has found this allegation to be substantiated in both particulars.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: The Mayor, Councillor Greene, Deputy Mayor, Councillor Agius and Councillors Elmir, Katris, Konjarski, Liu and Symington

Against the Motion: Councillors Badalati, Landsberry and Payor

On being put to the meeting, voting on this Motion was seven (7) votes FOR and three (3) votes AGAINST. The Motion was CARRIED.

 

 

Note:          Councillor Hindi, Councillor Grekas and Councillor Tegg returned to the meeting at 8.19pm.

Note:          Councillor Grekas was provided with an opportunity to address the meeting in regard to Item CCL026A-21, time being 8.20pm.

Note:          Councillor Grekas left the meeting at 8.22pm and did not participate in the discussion or voting on Item CCL026A-21. Councillor Grekas did not return to the meeting.

Note:          Councillor Hindi left the meeting at 8.24pm

Note:         The following Councillors were present for Item CCL026A-21 DEFERRED ITEM FROM THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING OF 26 APRIL 2021 - (CCL020A-21) Confidential: Code of Conduct Investigation Report - Councillor Grekas;

The Mayor, Councillor Greene, the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Agius and Councillors Badalati, Elmir, Hindi, Katris, Konjarski, Landsberry, Liu, Payor, Symington and Tegg.

Note:         The following staff were present during the consideration and voting of CCL026A-21 DEFERRED ITEM FROM THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING OF 26 APRIL 2021 - (CCL020A-21) Confidential: Code of Conduct Investigation Report - Councillor Grekas;

General Manager - Gail Connolly, Director Legal Services and General Counsel - Jenny Ware (remote attendance), Manager Governance and Risk - Popy Mourgelas and Manager, Office of the General Manager - Roxanne Thornton.

 


 

CCL026A-21     DEFERRED ITEM FROM THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING OF 26 APRIL 2021 - (CCL020A-21) Confidential: Code of Conduct Investigation Report - Councillor Grekas

(Report by Manager Governance and Risk)

MOTION:  Councillor Tegg and Councillor Elmir

That:

(a)     Council adopt the Conduct Reviewer’s/Investigator’s recommendation.

(b)     Pursuant to section 440G of the Local Government Act, 1993 (NSW)(LG Act), Councillor Sandy Grekas be formally censured by Council for breaching the Council’s Code of Conduct.

(c)     Should Council determine to censure Councillor Sandy Grekas, Council makes public the findings of inappropriate conduct by Councillor Sandy Grekas by publishing those findings in the Minutes as:

Allegation 1

It is alleged that on 16 December 2019, at the ordinary meeting of the Council, during the discussion of agenda item NM127-19 (relating to “Community Survey on Election of Mayor by Georges River Community”), and with the meeting open to the public and being live broadcast on the Internet, you behaved in a manner towards Councillor Con Hindi that was abusive, and was likely to bring Council into disrepute.

The particulars of this allegation are as follows:

(a)    You referred to Councillor Hindi as a “grub”.

Finding: The external Conduct Reviewer has found this allegation is substantiated in part.

Particular (a) is found to be substantiated.

Allegation 2

It is alleged that on 18 December 2019 you created a post on your public Facebook page, “Sandy Grekas: Independent Councillor for Blakehurst Ward”, that discussed Councillor Con Hindi in a manner that was abusive, and was likely to bring Council into disrepute.

The particulars of this allegation are as follows:

(a)   You referred to Councillor Hindi as being “like a toddler”.

Finding: The external Conduct Reviewer has found this allegation is substantiated in part.

Particular (a) is found to be substantiated.

 

AMENDMENT: Councillor Badalati

That Councillor Grekas be censured and the matter be referred to the Office of Local Government.

Note:     The Amendment LAPSED for want of a Seconder.

 

RESOLVED:  Councillor Tegg and Councillor Elmir

That:

(a)     Council adopt the Conduct Reviewer’s/Investigator’s recommendation.

(b)     Pursuant to section 440G of the Local Government Act, 1993 (NSW)(LG Act), Councillor Sandy Grekas be formally censured by Council for breaching the Council’s Code of Conduct.

(c)     Should Council determine to censure Councillor Sandy Grekas, Council makes public the findings of inappropriate conduct by Councillor Sandy Grekas by publishing those findings in the Minutes as:

That:

(a)     Council adopt the Conduct Reviewer’s/Investigator’s recommendation.

(b)     Pursuant to section 440G of the Local Government Act, 1993 (NSW)(LG Act), Councillor Sandy Grekas be formally censured by Council for breaching the Council’s Code of Conduct.

(c)     Should Council determine to censure Councillor Sandy Grekas, Council makes public the findings of inappropriate conduct by Councillor Sandy Grekas by publishing those findings in the Minutes as:

Allegation 1

It is alleged that on 16 December 2019, at the ordinary meeting of the Council, during the discussion of agenda item NM127-19 (relating to “Community Survey on Election of Mayor by Georges River Community”), and with the meeting open to the public and being live broadcast on the Internet, you behaved in a manner towards Councillor Con Hindi that was abusive, and was likely to bring Council into disrepute.

The particulars of this allegation are as follows:

(a)    You referred to Councillor Hindi as a “grub”.

Finding: The external Conduct Reviewer has found this allegation is substantiated in part.

Particular (a) is found to be substantiated.

Allegation 2

It is alleged that on 18 December 2019 you created a post on your public Facebook page, “Sandy Grekas: Independent Councillor for Blakehurst Ward”, that discussed Councillor Con Hindi in a manner that was abusive, and was likely to bring Council into disrepute.

The particulars of this allegation are as follows:

(a)   You referred to Councillor Hindi as being “like a toddler”.

Finding: The external Conduct Reviewer has found this allegation is substantiated in part.

Particular (a) is found to be substantiated.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: The Mayor, Councillor Greene, Deputy Mayor, Councillor Agius and Councillors Badalati, Elmir, Katris, Konjarski, Liu, Symington and Tegg

Against the Motion: Councillors Landsberry and Payor

On being put to the meeting, voting on this Motion was nine (9) votes FOR and two (2) votes AGAINST. The Motion was CARRIED.

 

 

PROCEDURAL MOTION

MOVE TO OPEN COUNCIL

RESOLVED: Councillor Katris and Councillor Agius

That Council return to Open Session.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: Unanimous

Note:          Council returned to Open Session at 8.34pm.

Note:          Councillor Hindi returned to the meeting at 8.34pm.

CONFIRMATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS FROM CLOSED SESSION – COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

resolved: Councillor Konjarski and Councillor Elmir

(a)      That the recommendations from the Closed Session in relation to Item CCL025A-21 DEFERRED ITEM FROM THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING OF 26 APRIL 2021 - (CCL019A-21) Confidential: Code of Conduct Investigation Report - Councillor Hindi be received and noted as resolutions of Council without any alteration or amendment thereto.

(b)      That the recommendations from the Closed Session in relation to Item CCL026A-21 DEFERRED ITEM FROM THE ORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING OF 26 APRIL 2021 - (CCL020A-21) Confidential: Code of Conduct Investigation Report - Councillor Grekas be confirmed as resolutions of Council without any alteration or amendment thereto.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: Unanimous

PROCEDURAL MOTION

MATTER OF URGENCY

RESOLVED: Councillor Hindi and Councillor Symington

That Council consider as a matter of urgency additional business to address the compulsory acquisition of residential properties in Webb St, Riverwood by TfNSW before the next ordinary meeting of Council.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: Unanimous

 

MATTER OF URGENCY

 

MU001-21          MATTER OF URGENCY - Compulsory Acquisition of Residential Properties in Webb Street, Riverwood by NSW Government

(Councillor - Con Hindi)

RESOLVED: Councillor Hindi and Councillor Symington

(a)      That Council write to the Federal Member for Banks, the Hon. David Coleman MP, the State Member for Oatley, Mark Coure MP and the Minister for Transport, the Hon. Andrew Constance MP, requesting that the NSW government defer any compulsory acquisition of residential properties in Webb Street, Riverwood for commuter car parking until such time as alternative sites for commuter car parking can be investigated and identified in conjunction with Council officers.

(b)      That the General Manager write to the four (4) affected owners to advise them of Council’s actions on this matter.

Record of Voting:

For the Motion: Unanimous

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

The Meeting was closed at 8.48pm

 

Chairperson

Mayor, Kevin Greene

 

Minutes confirmed at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on 24 May 2021 (CCL024-21)