Draft report propaganda

Story appeared in: Review | November 13th, 2017

TWO councillors have described Cumberland Council's Draft 2016/17 Annual Report as "propaganda".
Councillors George Campbell, Steve Christou, Ola Hamed, and Lisa Lake wanted the report to be revised with the majority of councillors voting to simply 'note and receive' the draft rather than to 'endorse' it as recommended in the staff report.
General manager Malcolm Ryan said the report had been delayed while staff tried to complete the council's annual financial statements and they had been refused an extension from the Office of Local Government and had to submit it, without the financial statements, by November 30.
Describing the wording of the draft as "unacceptable", Cr Campbell said there were a number of things in there that he objected to, including its characterisation of the decision to outsource waste management.
"The overall propaganda style which reads a little bit like George Orwell's 'Ministry of Truth' in 1984," he said.
Also refusing to endorse the report, Cr Steve Christou said councillors had just been handed it and told 'vote for it'.
"In my opinion a lot of it is propaganda and it should not be in the report, and it needs to be revised," he said.
Cr Suman Saha noted that it was "all about what the administrator has done to this council and to the community for last 18 months or so".
A frustrated Cr Ross Grove said that while it was "a bull…. report", it would simply be filed away like similar previous reports and "only people like George Campbell" would read it.
He said deferring it to be revised at a workshop was a waste of time as it was about events that "happened in the past".
"It's not a priority anymore," he said.
"We have important matters before us. We should actually get on with the job of governing Cumberland."

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Publication: Review | Section: news | Author: Kim Palmer | Story ID: 132761 | Viewcount: 13763