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Tensions rise at Murray Shire

An explosive motion of no confidence moved against Murray Shire mayor Tom Weyrich has been labelled as a publicity stunt.

JESS CRAIG February 19, 2014 6:05pm
Tension was evident between councillors at Tuesday's meeting, coming to a head late in the afternoon.
 
Cr Geoff Mackenzie, reading from a prepared statement, told Cr Weyrich he had no confidence in his leadership.
 
‘‘It is my opinion you’re creating the division,’’ Cr Mackenzie said.
 
‘‘You’ve deliberately set out to keep some councillors out of discussions so that you can hold the majority.
 
‘‘You’ve essentially made it so the four councillors elected by ratepayers have been made irrelevant, and thus, made their concerns irrelevant.
 
‘‘We have no say in the fate of the shire and I believe ratepayers deserve better.
 
‘‘I have no confidence in your leadership.’’
 
Cr Gen Campbell agreed with Cr Mackenzie and moved the motion of no confidence in Cr Weyrich.
 
Cr Weyrich labelled the move as a publicity stunt, as he believed councillors Campbell and Mackenzie knew he could not be dislodged from the top job by a motion.
 
Acting general manager Phil Higgins told the meeting that the mayor holds power from September to September.
 
‘‘A motion of no confidence cannot remove the mayorth...it’s done as a political move,’’ he said.
 
Cr Weyrich’s fury at the motion was evident.
 
‘‘If your motion is defeated, you can resign,’’ Cr Weyrich told Cr Campbell.
 
‘‘I am sick of the rumours, innuendo and lies.’’
 
‘‘I refuse to resign,’’ Cr Campbell said.
 
‘‘I was elected by the ratepayers I serve.’’
 
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.
They were defeated in a vote.
 
‘‘I’ll expect your resignation at any time,’’ Cr Weyrich told Cr Campbell following the vote.
 
Gavin Burke told Cr Weyrich he thought his comment about Cr Campbell resigning was ‘‘inappropriate’’.
 
More on Murray Shire issues in today's Riv. 
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