Coun­cil­lors fight back over boozy din­ner claims

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Ian Pater­son

SUG­GES­TIONS Pen­rith coun­cil­lors and staff are en­joy­ing boozy din­ners be­fore meet­ings have been la­belled as “out­ra­geous and in­sult­ing”.

Cr Mar­cus Cor­nish has raised con­cerns over the drink­ing habits of his col­leagues, say­ing it was not un­com­mon for some coun- cil­lors or staff to have two or three glasses with din­ner be­fore meet­ings.

Other coun­cil­lors have hit back and said the state­ment was aimed more at grab­bing head­lines then ad­dress­ing any real prob­lems.

“I just do not see what this is all about. Like mil­lions of Aus­tralians, some coun­cil­lors like to have a drink with din­ner,” Cr John Thain said.

“It is just at­ten­tion seek­ing. If this has been a big prob­lem he should point to cer­tain in­ci­dences where he thinks there were con­cerns.”

Cr Cor­nish raised the mat­ter dur­ing last week’s meet­ing.

“I think it is a real con­cern that peo­ple are drink­ing at the coun­cil din­ner prior to the meet­ing, where coun­cil- lors have to make de­ci­sions that will af­fect thou­sands of peo­ple,” Cr Cor­nish said.

Deputy Mayor Greg Davies said in his 21 years on the coun­cil, this had never been raised be­fore.

“I have a drink with my meal on some oc­ca­sions,” he said. “I don’t see a prob­lem if coun­cil­lors want to have a drink with their din­ner and, if I thought coun­cil­lors were get­ting ine­bri­ated be­fore meet­ings, then I would be con­cerned and I would be one of the first to raise the is­sue.”

Mayor Ross Fowler said rais­ing the is­sue was an un­nec­es­sary dis­trac­tion from all the good work the coun­cil was do­ing.

“I have got no idea where this has come from. On Mon­day I was sit­ting next to Mr Cor­nish and I had a glass of wine with din­ner as did a few of the oth­ers and he never once men­tioned the is­sue,” Cr Fowler said.

Cr Kevin Crameri sup­ported Cr Cor­nish and said he thought any al­co­hol must have some ef­fect.

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