At last night’s Ordinary Meeting of the Lithgow City Council held in the Crystal Theatre at Portland, the Mayor Councillor Maree Statham in reply to an innocuous question from the Public Gallery, confirmed that a brother of hers was employed by Coalpac, the company of a controversial proposed mining Consolidation Project at Cullen Bullen near Lithgow.
Notwithstanding this, Councillor Statham publicly denied that that she held any conflict of interests over her recent involvement on the Coalpac Consolidation Project, which is currently now under further consideration by a second Planning Assessment Panel after being initially refused approval.
Fellow Lithgow City Councillor, Martin Ticehurst said, “I’m very surprised at this news from the Mayor. This is the first time I’ve heard about it and I’m sure that many of the people involved in this highly contentious planning issue in Cullen Bullen had not heard of this new declaration by the Mayor before. I believe that question and the Mayor’s response at the Council Meeting also caught many of those present, including the lady in the public gallery who asked the question by surprise.
The last time this matter came before the Lithgow Council for debate recently on the 4 February 2013, the Council Minutes confirmed that the Mayor made no mention whatsoever of this new declaration she made last night, nor that she made or recorded any Declaration of Interest on the Agenda Item for the Coalpac Consolidation Project?”
Councillor Ticehurst said, “Mayor Statham needs to now come clean on the public record and reaffirm what if any significant or insignificant conflicts of interest, either pecuniary or non-pecuniary, she may have on the controversial Coalpac Consolidation Project at Cullen Bullen?
The ratepayers and public also have a right to know, given her recent Mayoral and public support for this Project, if she fully declared this new information during her recent Mayoral and Council representations in a personal meeting with the State Member for Bathurst, Mr Paul Toole and the Minister for Planning, Mr Brad Hazzard in Sydney?”
Further information: The Lithgow City Council Meeting last night was videoed and sound recorded by the Prime TV News representative present.
Recent Lithgow City Council Media Releases and Media Reports on the Coalpac Consolidation Project: