'Back me or you're out': Councillor's phone call with mayor
EXPLOSIVE details of a phone call between Cr Mark Jamieson and Cr John Connolly have been aired during a fight to have a conflict of interest motion defeated.
Cr Connolly pushed on Thursday to have Cr Jamieson removed from two of the three Sunshine Coast Council meeting items related to the Brisbane Road carpark.
His reasoning was Cr Jamieson's ownership of a commercial property at the intersection of the The Esplanade and Venning Street in Mooloolaba.
Both attempts to have the council recognise Cr Jamieson had a perceived conflict of interest were unsuccessful.
But the second, which started before Cr Connolly moved a rescission notice on a previous carpark decision, featured some intense debate and was only decided by Deputy Mayor Tim Dwyer's casting vote.
Cr Jamieson answered questions from his colleagues about the property, saying his family's superannuation fund owned a 25 per cent share in it.
Cr Connolly said Cr Jamieson stood to potentially benefit from the potential closure of the Brisbane Road carpark for redevelopment because there were 130 council-owned carparks across the road from the commercial space he owned.
It was a point strongly refuted by Cr Jamieson.
"I understand there has been some suggestion that the location of the property in which my family's superannuation fund holds an interest derives a benefit from the temporary carpark... on the site of the former caravan park and therefore it is in my interests to delay any redevelopment of the Brisbane Road carpark site," Cr Jamieson said.
"What a load of rubbish."
Cr Jamieson also said he had received a phone call from Cr Connolly on Tuesday last week.
He said Cr Connolly told him he was going to oppose him remaining in the meeting.
"I thanked him for his honesty," Cr Jamieson said.
"We talked back and forward, clearly we had different views - that is not unusual in a democracy and I explained that to Cr Connolly.
"But Cr Connolly, at a point in conversation invited me to in fact move the recision, which I said I wouldn't do."
He said Cr Connolly would have been happy for him to stay in the room if he had supported Cr Connolly's rescission notice.
"The fact of the matter is I share a different view and that clearly is the reason why he is seeking to have me removed from the conversation."
Cr Connolly questioned the mayor on whether or not he believed the conversation they had was private.
"Councillor, you didn't say it was a private conversation," Cr Jamieson said.
He said he was happy to engage with Cr Connolly on the phone about what he was proposing.
"The fact of the matter is, the resolution we have allows for what you are proposing, I just want to see that is open to everyone.
"So for you to ask me, 'would you like to move this, it was a clear indication to me that you were just clearly wanting to have me out of the room based on the position I had previously stated."
Councillors Connolly, Greg Rogerson, Jason O'Pray, Ted Hungerford and Jenny McKay subsequently voted the mayor had a perceived conflict of interest in dealing with the Brisbane Road carpark matter.
Councillors Steve Robinson, Christian Dickson, Peter Cox, Rick Baberowski and Tim Dwyer voted that he didn't.
Cr Dwyer, who was acting mayor for the decision, then used his casting vote to decide the mayor did not have a perceived conflict of interest.