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More drama at the Belconnen Community Council

By Barcham - 4 April 2013 24

The Belconnen Community Council Public Officer Brian Rynehart has had his competency called into question by perennial Liberal candidate Matthew Watts. Watts claims that Rynehart has failed in his official responsibilities and is calling for an inquiry into Rynehart’s suitability.

The full email discussion is available here, for those who are interested.

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24 Responses to
More drama at the Belconnen Community Council
rosscoact 9:07 am 05 Apr 13

screaming banshee said :

There is mention of public monies, don’t tell me these ‘councils’ are funded with my tax dollars. I’m happy for a bunch of try yards to get together and play local govt at their own expense but if this model UN is paid for by us I’ll be most annoyed.

Community councils receive funding from the ACT government, I’m not aware of what percentage

Matt_Watts 8:36 am 05 Apr 13

screaming banshee said :

There is mention of public monies, don’t tell me these ‘councils’ are funded with my tax dollars. I’m happy for a bunch of try yards to get together and play local govt at their own expense but if this model UN is paid for by us I’ll be most annoyed.

Community Councils do receive public funds. I suggest a well-run Community Council deserves some funding, to communicate with residents etc in lieu of direct government expenditure on public consultation etc. A poorly run Community Council, I agree, is a waste of public funds.

460cixy 8:09 am 05 Apr 13

Matty should taken up the thugs offer and sorted the situation outside could of been interesting

screaming banshee 6:50 am 05 Apr 13

There is mention of public monies, don’t tell me these ‘councils’ are funded with my tax dollars. I’m happy for a bunch of try yards to get together and play local govt at their own expense but if this model UN is paid for by us I’ll be most annoyed.

Dacquiri 11:42 pm 04 Apr 13

Community councils seems to vary a lot — as you would perhaps expect from voluntary organisations of this nature (really, shouldn’t members of the Committee be elected by the residents of the relevant catchment area?). My impression is that Woden Valley Community Council, for example, benefits from good leadership, with Dr Jenny Stewart (particular interests and expertise in urban planning and government decision-making) at the helm and Committee members such as Shirley Lithgow (with a serious interest in community engagement). Interestingly, WVCC states that they have, ‘a statutory responsibility to seek comment and respond to Government on proposed developments in the Woden Valley,’ so they actually take positions on things — for example, actively opposing the Woden 9 development and other high developments in Woden. I could find no statement on the Belconnen CC website which indicates what they believe the Council’s purpose and role are, but, based on past performance and statements, it seems to be more along the lines of providing a forum for information and discussion.

Mr Evil 10:40 pm 04 Apr 13

damien haas said :

I can understand how the antics of a few bizarre malcontents at the BCC can appear humorous to some, but it is an organisation subject to rules and legislation. If your registered organisations are having BBQ’s and matey back slaps as AGM’s, I’d suggest they may be non-compliant with the legislation. Were audited accounts presented? Were the appropriate forms filled out and submitted to ORS ?

Matt has been attempting to bring order and accountability to the BCC and has been met with clownish opposition. His greatest crime is that he put himself forward and defeated the incumbent president.

For far too long the BCC has been run as a social club, with infrequent committee meetings (3 in 18 months), financial decisions made without reference to other committee members, lax paperwork leading to the BCC being fined on several occasions (never revealed to the committee may I add).

I could go on, but i’m labouring the point.

The ORS investigated and determined that the previous AGM was invalid because of incompetence by the Public Officer in failing to complete the AGM paperwork and present the audited returns. this finding completely undermines all the bizarre claims made by Matts opponents, in their attempts to discredit him. Indeed, the ORS has been silent on those claims.

Matt has been defamed and pilloried by several BCC Committee members, with vicious and unwarranted personal attacks and quite aggressive insults and threats levelled – in public, private and via email.

At the March meeting one of these people became very aggressive and thuggish. I seriously believed Matt was likely to be physically assaulted by one person in particular, who after yelling at him and insulting him with vile language departed and then returned to berate him again, challenging him to a fistfight. i should add that Matt had been largely silent throughout the meeting, and the aggressive behaviour was unwarranted.

But you dont have to believe me, and accept my account of events. This is all captured on video. Curiously the video has not been made public.

Really, its all just very sad.

Serious issues the BCC could take a role in as a community forum, and a body with representation on several ACT Government consultation forums and processes, have been ignored or opportunities have been wasted. The BCC needs to be more than just a monthly venue for the latest ACT Government dept to tick off its community consultation box.

In the six months since Matt was undermined and deposed illegally by the Vice President/Public Officer and the old social club gang, do you know what their only major effort has been committed to (apart from undermining Matt) ? They have been diligently focused on writing a new constitution, that has a provision that anyone who has been preselected as a political candidate be ineligible for membership of the BCC. Its solely aimed at Matt.

Sad and pathetic.

These people need to be replaced. I’d urge anyone eligible to vote at a BCC meeting to attend on the 16th of April and vote as their conscience dictates.

So typical in Canberra that people can get away with running a community organisation like this.

damien haas 9:00 pm 04 Apr 13

I can understand how the antics of a few bizarre malcontents at the BCC can appear humorous to some, but it is an organisation subject to rules and legislation. If your registered organisations are having BBQ’s and matey back slaps as AGM’s, I’d suggest they may be non-compliant with the legislation. Were audited accounts presented? Were the appropriate forms filled out and submitted to ORS ?

Matt has been attempting to bring order and accountability to the BCC and has been met with clownish opposition. His greatest crime is that he put himself forward and defeated the incumbent president.

For far too long the BCC has been run as a social club, with infrequent committee meetings (3 in 18 months), financial decisions made without reference to other committee members, lax paperwork leading to the BCC being fined on several occasions (never revealed to the committee may I add).

I could go on, but i’m labouring the point.

The ORS investigated and determined that the previous AGM was invalid because of incompetence by the Public Officer in failing to complete the AGM paperwork and present the audited returns. this finding completely undermines all the bizarre claims made by Matts opponents, in their attempts to discredit him. Indeed, the ORS has been silent on those claims.

Matt has been defamed and pilloried by several BCC Committee members, with vicious and unwarranted personal attacks and quite aggressive insults and threats levelled – in public, private and via email.

At the March meeting one of these people became very aggressive and thuggish. I seriously believed Matt was likely to be physically assaulted by one person in particular, who after yelling at him and insulting him with vile language departed and then returned to berate him again, challenging him to a fistfight. i should add that Matt had been largely silent throughout the meeting, and the aggressive behaviour was unwarranted.

But you dont have to believe me, and accept my account of events. This is all captured on video. Curiously the video has not been made public.

Really, its all just very sad.

Serious issues the BCC could take a role in as a community forum, and a body with representation on several ACT Government consultation forums and processes, have been ignored or opportunities have been wasted. The BCC needs to be more than just a monthly venue for the latest ACT Government dept to tick off its community consultation box.

In the six months since Matt was undermined and deposed illegally by the Vice President/Public Officer and the old social club gang, do you know what their only major effort has been committed to (apart from undermining Matt) ? They have been diligently focused on writing a new constitution, that has a provision that anyone who has been preselected as a political candidate be ineligible for membership of the BCC. Its solely aimed at Matt.

Sad and pathetic.

These people need to be replaced. I’d urge anyone eligible to vote at a BCC meeting to attend on the 16th of April and vote as their conscience dictates.

Matt_Watts 8:14 pm 04 Apr 13

Mr Evil said :

Nice article in one of the papers last week(?), about a current member of the BCC wanting to take things outside into the carpark during the meeting held recently!

Sounds like a nice bunch of tosspots running the show.

He is no longer a member.

el 8:04 pm 04 Apr 13

Mr Evil said :

Nice article in one of the papers last week(?), about a current member of the BCC wanting to take things outside into the carpark during the meeting held recently!

Sounds like a nice bunch of tosspots running the show.

Indeed, although I wonder if similar ‘processes’ could be introduced to the Legislative Assembly?

no idea 8:01 pm 04 Apr 13

Matt, just wants someone other than Damien to love and adore him

Cameron 7:47 pm 04 Apr 13

Seriously? This isn’t a joke? Some sort of delayed April Fools Day prank?

“Matt Watts JP, *Member of the Belconnen Community Council, *Officially declared President of the Belconnen Community Council by the Public Officer, September 2012, *Former Committee Member of the Belconnen Community Council (ie I am not officially recognised as a current Committee Member by the Office of Regulatory Services because the Public Officer has not been able to accurately reflected the will of the members to the Office of Regulatory Services)”

Imagine that on a business card.

The AGM for a bunch of incorporated associations I’ve been involved with have consisted of a BBQ and a few beers. The BCC obviously take themselves waaaaay too seriously for a community council with the same level of legislative power as I have.

Mr Evil 7:02 pm 04 Apr 13

Nice article in one of the papers last week(?), about a current member of the BCC wanting to take things outside into the carpark during the meeting held recently!

Sounds like a nice bunch of tosspots running the show.

Matt_Watts 5:19 pm 04 Apr 13

I approached ORS with concerns regarding the ongoing actions of the Public Officer. They advised me that investigating such circumstances is unprecedented. After the discussion I held with ORS, I formally called for an investigation (not an inquiry).

We’re talking about public funds here, after all.

ORS regulate these matters, yet seemingly only took an interest beyond advising civil legal action once the matter reached the front page of the Canberra Times.

dpm 3:35 pm 04 Apr 13

An ‘inquiry’ sounds a bit OTT for a CC, doesn’t it? Is there even detail on how one would work documented in its ‘laws/constitution/act’? It all sounds a bit sad for a group that is at the bottom of the pecking order anyway…
Then again, looking at the LA and national levels ATM, I suppose you’ve gotta learn time-wasting political BS somewhere! Hahahaha!

Matt_Watts 1:06 pm 04 Apr 13

Whilst it may seem like I’m a perennial Liberal candidate, I should clarify that at no stage did I seek pre-selection for this year’s federal election, nor will I nominate.

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