Mayor’s statement on distillery approval process

THIS is the unedited* text of Derwent Valley mayor Ben Shaw’s Facebook post, published yesterday in relation to Thursday night’s council meeting.

“So we had a council meeting last night.
For the main it all went as normal and pretty much to schedule.
We did have the very important and very topical DA of the first stage of the potential New Norfolk Rum Distillery.
It’s been reported today and lots of commentary around this DA not being voted on as a failing of this council.
Let’s get some facts and not sensationalise the issue.
We currently have 1 councillor, Cr Belcher on approved leave,
Last night we had another, Cr Browning who unfortunately was sick and called in a few hours before the meeting that he wasn’t attending.
Then when it got to the vote on the DA we had. 2 councillors, Cr Salt and Cr Power declare conflicts of interest in the Application. (Which should be done if there is any thought of conflict)
This then amounts to not having enough councillors to form an official quorum to vote.. these are the rules , not something made up it’s just the rules…
Working on this today the proponent has given council a few more weeks to decide on the DA and subsequently this would result in a special meeting to deal with this Application.
So if you have all the correct facts I think you can see it’s an Unfortunate circumstance that all interested parties would be disappointed in.
However any suggestions that this was a failing of our council is just wrong and scaremongering from people who have other reasons to bag council out.
Any questions regarding this please contact me anytime I’m more than happy to give you the facts.
Have a great weekend.”

*This is the second version of the statement after the mayor’s own editing of the first version.

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