Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Motion moved to depose Murray Shire mayor

Cr Gen Campbell moved a vote of no confidence against Mayor Tom Weyrich on Tuesday.

February 21, 2014 4:30am

The rift between Murray Shire councillors came to an explosive climax on Tuesday when a vote of no confidence was moved against Mayor Tom Weyrich.

The motion was officially moved by Cr Gen Campbell following a prepared statement from Cr Geoff Mackenzie outlining his lack of confidence in the mayor’s leadership. The motion was defeated 5-4.

If the motion had been carried, Mayor Weyrich would have had to stand down and an internal election held to elect a new mayor.

Cr Weyrich responded to the motion with a tirade directed at Cr Campbell, saying he would expect her resignation if the motion was defeated.

The mayor labelled the move as a publicity stunt and said councillors Campbell and Mackenzie knew he could not be dislodged from the top job by a motion.

‘‘If your motion is defeated, you can resign,’’ Cr Weyrich told Cr Campbell.

‘‘I am sick of the rumours, innuendo and lies.’’

Cr Campbell held her ground however, saying she would refuse to resign.

‘‘I was elected by the ratepayers I serve,’’ she said.

Cr Mackenzie, reading from a prepared statement, told Cr Weyrich he had no confidence in his leadership.

‘‘Mayor Tom, I believe that you have created and still are creating a division within council in the way of having and including preferred councillors in your discussions and council deliberations without the whole of council.

‘‘It has been said to me that you have stated to a constituent that you will get your team onto it, then naming councillors Murphy, Bilkey, Anderson, Pocklington – making four, and of course yourself, making five – giving you a majority, and in fact making the remaining four councillors all but non-existent.

‘‘Given that if this be fact, any opinions or wishes constituents may expect to have aired are rendered of no consequence because of your action.’’

Cr Gen Campbell agreed with Cr Mackenzie and moved the motion of no confidence.

Remaining councillors sat in silence as accusations from Cr Weyrich and Cr Campbell were flung around the room.

The motion was eventually voted on by council, with councillors Campbell, Mackenzie, Gavin Burke and Ian Moon supporting a motion of no confidence.

‘‘I’ll expect your resignation at any time,’’ Cr Weyrich told Cr Campbell following the vote.

Cr Burke told Cr Weyrich he thought his comment about Cr Campbell resigning was ‘‘inappropriate’’.

~ with Riv Herald

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