BALLARAT City Councillor Belinda Coates has moved to overturn the planned $2 million Civic Hall demolition.
Cr Coates yesterday proposed a notice of motion to rescind the council’s 6-3 vote to demolish the abandoned Mair Street building, carried at last Wednesday night’s meeting.
Cr Coates said she and other councillors – who she declined to name – had concerns about due process.
“I have concerns in regard to governance, statutory planning and ethical issues,” Cr Coates said.
She said the motion would subject the decision to more intense scrutiny.
“It’s a way of having a closer look at it. I’m not confident due process has been followed,” Cr Coates said.
“My motion might not be supported but it will improve the transparency around it.”
Cr Coates said several ratepayers had also expressed concerns to her about due process.
“There are a number of things I’m concerned about and I’ll be asking questions about these things, namely governance, planning and ethics.
“There are enough concerns to warrant more attention.”
The motion will now be listed for the next council meeting on Wednesday, October 9.
It will need to be seconded to go ahead but Cr Coates said she was confident the motion would proceed.
Until a council decision on the motion is passed, no further action can be taken on the Civic Hall site.
Fellow councillor Amy Johnson took to social media to criticise Cr Coates’ decision.
On Facebook, Cr Johnson wrote council would have to again hear public representations from both sides of the debate.
“This motion has not been put forward because a number of us have suddenly changed our minds,” Cr Johnson wrote.
“We as a council have come to a decision and this decision was not made lightly. To me, this looks very much like one of the nine is now trying to exercise control over the whole council.
“In my opinion this motion undermines and fails to accept the democratic process.”
Cr Coates did not wish to comment on Cr Johnson’s comments.
Cr Coates, Cr Samantha McIntosh and Cr Vicki Coltman all voted against the proposal last week while councillors Johnson, John Burt, Peter Innes, Des Hudson, Joshua Morris and John Philips voted for it.