Fiery debate amongst Councillors turns sour

FIERY debate amongst councillors has turned sour, with a meeting of the Southern Downs Regional Council giving way to what Mayor Peter Blundell described as a 'personal sledging match' yesterday.

Accusations of political point scoring were thrown around as councillors' tempers flared over a number of controversial topics.

Cr Jamie Mackenzie fired up on a number of controversial subjects, including his claims councillors were not given enough time to read through the council budget.

Just days before the budget was passed, the outspoken councillor accused the Mayor of "going against the Local Government Act" by only giving him two days to read through the budget papers.

Cr Mackenzie raised an email about legal advice from government departments, and tried to move a motion for the council to investigate how they seek legal advice.

"That's why some of us voted against the budget - perhaps it's council misconduct," he said.

The comments were met with frustration and confusion amongst several councillors.

Cr Neil Meiklejohn quickly fired back at Cr Mackenzie, questioning the motives for raising the issue again.

"I don't know what political points Cr Mackenzie is trying to get here," he said.

"He was the most absent councillor during budgetary discussions.

"This political point scoring is absolutely incredible."

Frustration boiled over, with Cr Mackenzie hitting back and stating he was absent due to the passing of his father.

Cr Blundell stepped in as debate continued, describing what had been raised in general business as 'not appropriate'.

"General business was taken out of the agendas a while ago and most unfortunately was returned to the agenda," he said.

"We should not be discussing these issues in general business."

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