An urgent Special Council Meeting was called tonight, 30th November 2021 at 6.30 pm to consider the referral of an unvaccinated councillor to the Minister to be stood down.
Section 228 of the Local Government Act 2020 enables the Minister for Local Government to stand down a councillor who creates a ‘serious risk to the health and safety of Councillors or Council staff’.
Councillors Shaw, Marcus and Gilligan put forward the following motion that Council:
- Supports the Victorian Parliament’s mandatory vaccine requirements requiring parliamentarians to be vaccinated in order to protect the health and safety of Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff or be suspended from their roles;
- Writes to the Victorian Minister for Local Government, Shaun Leane MP and Victorian Chief Health Officer, Mr. Brett Sutton, requesting the rationale as to why these vaccination requirements have not been extended to Victorian Councillors; and
- Request all Wyndham Councillors to provide their proof of vaccination to the Mayor and CEO by close of business, Thursday 2nd December 2021, and for the Mayor to write to any Councillor who fails to provide proof of vaccination and encourage them to take a leave of absence until a response is received from the Minister for Local Government.
Although the motion was passed, Mayor Peter Maynard, councillors Ramesh, Mahfoud, Hill and Szatkowski all voted against the requirements put forward, sending a strong message that they are against the vaccination requirements presented.
Cr. Marcus said in the meeting “As leaders I believe that we should all be vaccinated.”, while Cr. Gilligan appealed to the chamber “People died because of this virus, and it is absolutely critical that this council takes the leadership role of standing up in addition to all that we have done, and delivering commitments that we have previously voted on and supported on behalf of our community.”
This did nothing to change the position of the five councillors that voted against the motion.