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Presidente Watts deposed? Or not… the plot thickens…

By johnboy - 21 November 2012 70

The Canberra Times has the intriguing news that Liberal Assembly candidate Matt Watts has been deposed from the presidency of the hotly contested Belconnen Community Council:

Ms Gourgard told The Canberra Times today that the council had been advised by the Office of Regulatory Services (ORS) that the September election, and Mr Watts’ nomination, was not in accordance with the council’s rules.

Ms Gourgard said this morning that she and her supporters had been working for two months on overturning the September result and had been advised by ORS that Mr Watts’s nomination for council president, declared just minutes before the September vote, was invalid.


UPDATE 21/11/12 13:42: This defiant statement by president Watts was left in the comments:

“The media release issued on 21 November 2012 under the auspices of the Belconnen Community Council was not authorised by the Belconnen Community Council.

In September, an Annual General Meeting was held at which Mr Matt Watts was elected President. Several weeks later, the out-going President and several other members unhappy at the election result announced that the ex-President was still President.

The dispute concerns whether the President was properly elected. The outgoing president contends that the Model Rules should be followed to determine who is President. The other view is that the BCC Constitution is valid and was followed correctly to elect a new President.

At the AGM, the BCC Public Officer accepted a late nomination for the position of President. By accepting this nomination, in accordance with the BCC constitution, the outcome was legitimate.

This was discussed at a committee meeting in October and a decision was taken to seek advice from the Office of Regulatory Services on this matter. Any further actions or public comment would only be made following receipt of this advice, and further discussion by the BCC Committee.

The President of the BCC then wrote to the Office of Regulatory Services to seek clarification. The advice received from the ORS was:
• The Model Rules apply if there is no Constitution.
• The BCC Constitution has been in place for many years and is in effect.

Following receipt of this advice, the Vice President and Public Officer (the same person) refused to discuss the matter any further with the President. At some point last week, the President attempted to login to the BCC email account and discovered he no longer had access. On or about the 14th of November, the BCC email account was illegally accessed and permissions changed to deny the President access. A series of emails was then issued, without authorisation by the Vice President.

Based on this action, the President has asked the Vice President to resign from his position as Public Officer.

These actions by the Vice President and Public Officer were taken despite an agreement at the Committee meeting that discussion would occur following receipt of advice from the Office of Regulatory Services. As the advice has not conformed to their view, the ex-President and Vice President have acted as if the election results never occurred.

One of these unauthorised emails announced that there would be a Public Meeting of the Belconnen Community Council. This was not an official meeting, and was not authorised by the President or the Committee. The meeting notice was not provided as required by the BCC Constitution. As such, the meeting held on 20 November 2012 cannot be considered an official BCC meeting, and no resolutions discussed or passed at that meeting can be construed as official positions of the BCC.

A Committee meeting of the Belconnen Community Council has been arranged where this matter will be resolved. At this meeting the BCC committee members will discuss the advice from the Office of Regulatory Services and other matters concerning the governance of the Belconnen Community Council. This is the course of action agreed upon at the previous BCC Committee meeting by both the President and the members who disputed the result. This meeting will still occur, and will be attended by members of the Belconnen Community Council.

This is a sad and unfortunate situation brought about by the failure of some people to recognise the results of an election. While these people have been agitating to ensure that their social club continued, the new president has already taken steps to work on the agenda he put forward at the September AGM where he was elected. This includes distributing a survey to small businesses in Belconnen with the view to establishing the views of small business in respect to the future of Belconnen, establishing a joint committee with the Gungahlin Community Council, commencing discussion on a new constitution, obtaining last year’s financial audit and beginning preliminary work on the new Belconnen Master Plan.“

Regards,

Matt Watts JP
President
Belconnen Community Council


UPDATE 23/11/12 09:53: Justice and Community Safety have now made a statement contradicting some of the earlier reporting.

What’s Your opinion?


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70 Responses to
Presidente Watts deposed? Or not… the plot thickens…
31
Kindle 10:30 pm
21 Nov 12
#

What is interesting in the whole BCC debate is the fact that people are squabbling over a voluntary non paid position in a council that is meant to support the community. Something here just does not add up. We have not heard from Mr Watts which is quite strange. This heightens suspicion. Is Mr Watts behind all this? Did he write the statement?

As johnboy says there is a lot of skin in the game but who knows what is right. You can only infer from what has already been stated – that a long standing president was deposed by a Liberal Party candidate just prior to an AGM in an act of either political desire or a selfless act to improve the council. Whatever the disputes, it is clear that Mr Watts was supported by a valiant ‘press secretary’ who may well be the mastermind behind all of this confusion.

Let us hope that whoever becomes or remains president of the BCC does so in the interests of the Belconnen community.

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32
Thumper 8:15 am
22 Nov 12
#

rodent said :

So, Matt sent his response to you, Damien?

Matt appears to have posted during work hours and days before (for example, http://the-riotact.com/watt%E2%80%99s-the-answer/83638/comment-page-8#comments), well after the election/campaign period when I presume he was back at work (of course I could be wrong).

I would just think for a fairly big issue, he would have posted this himself, particularly if he apparently had the time to write it himself.

Makes me wonder who is really pushing this.

I’m just wondering what your involvement in all this is?

It’s not as if you’re a regular contributor.

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33
DrKoresh 10:03 am
22 Nov 12
#

Wow, political intrigue, electoral shenanigans! It’s like watching an episode of The Wire.

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34
Thumper 10:19 am
22 Nov 12
#

DrKoresh said :

Wow, political intrigue, electoral shenanigans! It’s like watching an episode of The Wire.

I’m waiting for A Current Affair or whatever it’s called to do an expose on the whole tawdry tale.

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35
PantsMan 12:20 pm
22 Nov 12
#

Belconnen should be another country. Just build a wall around it and let them fight it out.

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36
maxblues 12:29 pm
22 Nov 12
#

PantsMan said :

Belconnen should be another country. Just build a wall around it and let them fight it out.

Yes, come the revolution we are going to line up many against the wall… getting approval for any wall is the hard part.

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37
poetix 12:42 pm
22 Nov 12
#

Thumper said :

DrKoresh said :

Wow, political intrigue, electoral shenanigans! It’s like watching an episode of The Wire.

I’m waiting for A Current Affair or whatever it’s called to do an expose on the whole tawdry tale.

With appropriately subtle music indicating who the ‘bad guys’ are, so we know who we should be hating.

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38
DrKoresh 12:46 pm
22 Nov 12
#

I would just like to encourage the use of extreme violence in the resolution of this matter.

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39
johnboy 12:47 pm
22 Nov 12
#

It’s really good of Matt to take another red hot shot at the Mully Cup.

Although a joint award would be best it seems 😉

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40
rosscoact 12:48 pm
22 Nov 12
#

DrKoresh said :

I would just like to encourage the use of extreme violence in the resolution of this matter.

Jousting sticks

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41
PantsMan 12:53 pm
22 Nov 12
#

maxblues said :

PantsMan said :

Belconnen should be another country. Just build a wall around it and let them fight it out.

Yes, come the revolution we are going to line up many against the wall… getting approval for any wall is the hard part.

Who approves walls nowadays? Is that within Shane’s bailiwick?

He will no doubt resist our moves against the Belconnenites and, therefore, he too must be disappeared.

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42
chewy14 12:56 pm
22 Nov 12
#

NoImRight said :

Ill just google map directions to the Winter Palace.

Just don’t forget to bring your BattleTech Marauder:

http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/vce-authorities-apologise-for-phantom-robot-20121119-29lbl.html

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43
NoImRight 1:30 pm
22 Nov 12
#

chewy14 said :

NoImRight said :

Ill just google map directions to the Winter Palace.

Just don’t forget to bring your BattleTech Marauder:

http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/vce-authorities-apologise-for-phantom-robot-20121119-29lbl.html

My timing is impeccable it seems.

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44
Mothy 1:42 pm
22 Nov 12
#

Kindle said :

What is interesting in the whole BCC debate is the fact that people are squabbling over a voluntary non paid position in a council that is meant to support the community. Something here just does not add up.

This.

Interested to see that offer was made to stand down and hold a new election. Why was this not accepted?

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45
Primal 2:17 pm
22 Nov 12
#

maxblues said :

Yes, come the revolution we are going to line up many against the wall… getting approval for any wall is the hard part.

The ACT government now requests that all executions take place in front of a nice line of native shrubs.

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