Sutton slams councillors as “sneaky”

Gareth ThomasAlbany Advertiser
Councillor Robert Sutton.
Camera IconCouncillor Robert Sutton. Credit: City of Albany

City of Albany Councillor Rob Sutton has accused some of his counterparts of “sneaky and underhanded” behaviour over plans to capitalise on his absence from council while he runs for the seat of Albany.

Cr Sutton is the WA Nationals’ candidate for Albany and has accused five councillors of trying to undermine the majority decision made by the council in November to pass a community rating subsidies policy, designed to subsidise not-for-profit, community and sporting groups’ rates.

Cr Janelle Price, with the support of four other councillors, will put a rescission motion to the next council meeting in February and, if it passes, would amend the original policy.

Cr Price said she disagreed with the City’s policy that assumed all organisations were the same and that all were entitled to subsidies.

She said the policy should foster the growth of smaller organisations and not continue to assist organisations that were able to sustain themselves. “I would like a comprehensive understanding of who is potentially eligible, what the potential liability is and then a look at how we do things fairly,” she said.

Cr Price said the current policy ignored the City’s future liabilities and provided subsidies for organisations that did not require them.

Cr Sutton who, along with Liberal candidate for Albany Cr Greg Stocks, voted in favour of the rates subsidy policy in November, said the councillors made the motion last week with the knowledge he and Cr Stocks would be on leave at the time of the February council meeting.

“I consider it a sneaky and underhanded way to overturn a majority decision to support community groups, not-for-profits and sporting clubs,” he said.

Cr Price said the timing of her motion had nothing to do with the pair’s absence.

“I actually don’t care if they are there or not,” she said.

Cr Price said the council would begin budget planning and preparations in February and needed a clear understanding of the financial impact of the rates subsidies.

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