Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tamworth and Refugees - update at 21 December

An update on my earlier post on Tamworth and the refugee imbroglio.

On 20 December the Northern Daily Leader carried an update on the current views of Tamworth's nine regional councillors in regard to how they were likely to vote on the January 16 motion to rescind the controversial decision not to support the refugee relocation centre program.

For Rescission

Cr Diane Carter, Cr Robert Schofield, Cr Warren Woodley.

Against Rescission

Cr Phil Betts: "I haven't changed my mind. There is not enough information at this stage. I haven't seen any information one way or the other on (Federal Government) provision of

Cr Kevin Tongue: "There is not enough evidence that the community is all for it to change my mind. My personal opinion is it shouldn't be dealt with so quickly."

Cr Shirley Close: "I feel very strongly that I basically made the right decision."

Undecided, not willing to reveal position

Cr Colin Murray: Undecided (voted in favour of the original decision)."I've seen some evidence for supporting it but there are still a lot of people out there against it."

Mayor Cr James Treloar: No comment on how he plans to vote (voted for original decision). "I think The Leader has a role in keeping the community informed but I don't think it should frame the debate."

Cr Cr Russell Webb: No comment on how he plans to vote (voted for original decision). "A decision will come from the January 16 meeting that will hopefully appease the situation."


So at this point we have three in favour of the original decision, three supporting rescission, three whose positions are unclear. Two of these three will need to vote for rescission for the motion to be carried.

As an external observer in all this, I wish that there was more information on the claimed inadequacies in the Commonwealth Government's refugee resettlement program since this is still being referred to as a problem.

I will report further closer to the 16 January vote date.

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