Timing wrong for Laman St fig motion

An urgency motion to close Laman Street to traffic and conduct another risk assessment was withdrawn last night after council legal advice suggested it was unlawful, and councillors criticised the timing.

Labor councillor Sharon Claydon moved a late item of business at the end of last night’s council meeting, effectively bringing forward a notice of motion scheduled for December 20.

The motion was to permanently close the street to vehicles, and would involve a re-assessment of the risks in light of new traffic arrangements.

The Laman Street figs were not on the formal agenda, and only one member of Save Our Figs was in the public gallery. Cr Brad Luke moved a point of order and said the motion could not be brought under the council’s code of meeting practice, which said that a rescission motion must be lodged through a formal process, signed by three councillors and notice given.

Cr Shayne Connell then rounded on Cr Claydon for moving the motion while two councillors, Mike King and Scott Sharpe, were away.

‘‘It’s incredibly poor form ... and sets some sort of precedent when we see who is and isn’t here and play the numbers that way.’’

Cr Claydon said her intention was not to push through a motion when councillors were away, and then withdrew the motion.

‘‘I’m trying to save considerable dollars,’’ she said.

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