Item 9.8

Delahunty moved motion to accept ‘as printed’. Seconded by Magee. The motion was basically to request a public forum with senior police to discuss ‘the policing of events’.

DELAHUNTY: said that she requested this report a while ago in order to discover the ‘best way to engage the community’ and those ‘responsible’ for ‘providing the safety to the community’ at these events. She wanted a public forum so that those responsible ‘could hear community views’ and how some ‘sections of the community feel unsafe’. Thought that council had a ‘leadership role to play’ to ‘put these two groups together’. Said it’s similar to the request for a forum on sky rail. She asked for a request for a report but didn’t want to waste too much of officer’s time in writing it because ‘time is money’ and to ask for a report is ‘to foreshadow a notice of motion’ but there isn’t the ‘ability to actually bring a notice of motion’ so that’s why there was the request for a report. So a forum is so that people can connect with those responsible for security arrangements and for them to ‘hear’ the views that they ‘feel unsafe on the grounds of their religious observations’. Council can’t put this off ‘for another day’. We need ‘to act, we are leaders in the community’. Said this isn’t a re-examination of the ‘issues raised by the public are right or wrong’. It’s simply to say ‘we’ve heard voices in the community’ that they feel unsafe ‘on the grounds of their religious beliefs’ and that is ‘unacceptable’. ‘We are not responsible for their security but we can certainly put them in touch with those who are’.

MAGEE: people want to have ‘confidence’ that their families are safe and that they ‘get home’ safe. In Glen Eira ‘parts of the community’ don’t ‘feel that way all the time’. Delahunty’s motion therefore wants to get that ‘expertise’ so that council can ‘also hear first hand’ what those ‘fears’ are. It’s important to hear ‘all voices from our great city’. Council should be able to ‘allay those fears’ in our parks.

HYAMS: agreed with the ‘sentiments’ that people should feel safe and the ‘general concept’ of a public forum. He opposes the motion because it doesn’t gel with what the original request for a report asked for. The original request was for information about ‘events on council land and facilities’ which is a ‘very broad spectrum’. This report though concentrates ‘very narrowly on one specific issue that arose only through a leak’. Said that ‘basically leaks cannot be trusted, we all know that’.Leakers can say anything’ but ‘those of us who actually do have the respect’ for ‘our councillors and our colleagues’ stick to the Local Government Act. Said that on the weekend they had 8 or 9 thousand people at Princes park in an ‘event of our own’. ‘We had security there’. That doesn’t get into the scope of this report. The ‘proposed forum is very narrowly focused on one newspaper story’ that ‘came up as a result of this leak’ and it ‘should be focused more on more general matters’. Said he voted for the original request for a report but now he doesn’t think that the report ‘represents what I expected when I voted for it’. Anyone who hires a council facility has to ‘make sure’ that ‘they’ve taken security as well’. Repeated council media release where security is ‘provided in co-ordination with police’. This ‘doesn’t accord with what the report says’. Also council is responsible for public safety but it is ‘detrimental to public safety’ if security measures our given out. This is a result of the leak and the ‘only person’ who voted against the October 20th item going into ‘confidential was Cr Delahunty’.

Delahunty queried whether this was ‘relevant’. Pilling asked Hyams to explain.

HYAMS: said he wasn’t ‘insinuating’ that Delahunty was the leak and all he is saying is that voting against the confidentiality of the meeting displays a ‘lack of concern for community safety’. ‘I wasn’t implying even that the leaker is in this room’. Foreshadowed that if the motion is defeated he will move that officers prepare another report that is ‘accord with the scope’ of the original request for a report.

LIPSHUTZ: agreed with Hyams. Also ‘cross’ about the leak and that ‘Delahunty has said what she said’ given that ‘she voted against’ confidentiality. Said that the original request was for ‘a very wide ranging report’ and ‘seeks information about all our facilities and not just one particular matter’. But this is ‘all about one particular item’ and that there is ‘an unhealthy emphasis on that particular one’. If council wants to ‘look at security for the community, not just one community’ then ‘one needs to have a fulsome report’ on security and not simply ‘one that involved’ the ‘jewish community’. ‘That’s the elephant in the room’. Delahunty ‘didn’t say that but that’s obviously what she meant’. ‘This report deals with one particular event for the jewish community’. ‘we’re talking about leaks’, ‘firearms, about hiding concealed weaponry’. ‘That’s not what this report is about’. It should be about ‘what does council do in relation to party in the park’ and carols and ‘not one that just involved the jewish community’.

ESAKOFF: agreed with Hyams & Lipshutz and that ‘this report is too narrow’ compared with the ‘description for a request for a report’. She voted for the original request ‘on the basis that it was a broad’ look at all events and ‘this report does not address’ the many events.

OKOTEL: agreed with Hyams and this ‘unfortunately’ arose because of ‘public discussions about what had been confidential’. Said that ‘it is disappointing that the report presented to us does single out one community’. She thought that the ‘intention’ of the report was to have a ‘full’ look at all events and their security arrangements and that isn’t ‘what this report’ does.

SOUNNESS: thought that it’s important to understand the concerns and what ‘security arrangements apply’ to ‘sectors’ of the community and ‘not just the jewish community’. Thought that it could still go to a public forum and ‘have a broader conversation’. ‘There’s a lot of other things that can be mentioned’ like what is happening in the city and that ‘some places may be becoming unsafe’. ‘Having a conversation’ with the police on these things will be ‘very much worthwhile’.

PILLING: agreed that ‘the report is fairly narrow’.

DELAHUNTY: found it ‘bizarre’ on comments that her voting against going to in camera be associated ‘with this’. Said that ‘those two decisions are completely consistent’. ‘I believe in public discussion that is transparent and open’ and ‘if you don’t feel safe that’s not fair and we shouldn’t be putting up with that’. Repeated that this is ‘consistent’ and she’s ‘confused’ as to how they’ve been ‘cobbled together’. Also strange that someone agrees with the ‘sentiments’ and ‘general concepts’ of a motion and then would vote against it on the basis that ‘the words used to get there are a little too narrow’. So if people agree with the concept and the ‘need to get there’ then ‘why do you care about the colour of the car you are going in?’ It doesn’t matter which religion. If people are feeling unsafe ‘it is relevant that they do’. When people are saying they don’t feel safe because of their religion ‘then you’ve got an obligation to act’. It could be Christian, jewish, Buddhist. It ‘doesn’t matter’ whoever it is because ‘council has a role to play and we need to do it quickly’. ‘Putting it off’ because the ‘way’ of getting there ‘is a little too narrow is absolutely just nonsense’. Thought that there’s more going on here and that it’s that ‘people don’t want other issues brought back to the floor’. ‘We are not re-prosecuting those issues. Let’s move forward’. Moving something forward is what they did when they voted for the level crossing forum and it’s what they are going ‘against now’. ‘Talk about inconsistent views. There are some inconsistent views right there’.

MOTION PUT and MOTION LOST. VOTING IN FAVOUR – DELAHUNTY, MAGEE AND SOUNNESS. AGAINST – PILLING, ESAKOFF, HYAMS, LIPSHUTZ, OKOTEL

 

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