Agitator evicted from extra-legal meeting

THREE members of the public were evicted from an unscheduled meeting convened by mayor Tony Nicholson at the end of tonight’s Derwent Valley Council meeting. New Norfolk journalist Damian Bester and two Bushy Park residents were in conversation in the public gallery when mayor Tony Nicholson asked them to leave.

Councillor Nicholson had called councillors back to the council table some time after declaring the meeting closed. After being asked to leave, Mr Bester asked the mayor what section of the Local Government Act applied to the new meeting. Cr Nicholson said it was a private meeting and again asked the three people to leave. While the Bushy Park residents took their leave, Mr Bester remained seated in the public gallery and repeated his question about the legality of the new meeting.

Cr Nicholson refused to state under what section of the Local Government Act he was ordering Mr Bester to leave and repeated his demand that Mr Bester remove himself from the chamber. Mr Bester remarked that the mayor had not answered his question and then left the forum.

Valley Vision project officer Ian Brown was also present and was not asked to leave the gathering at the same time as the other members of the public.

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