Rebel councillor seeks better office deal
Brisbane City Councillor Nicole Johnston remains without office facilities during council meetings at the temporary City Hall at Ann Street. Council chairman Margaret de Wit refused to discuss new arrangements during Question Time at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Cr Johnston was suspended from the LNP in March after she voted with the ALP in November against a bus depot planned in Sherwood, in her ward of Tennyson.
Her call for facilities followed a row in council this week about the handling of question time.
Cr Johnston asked a question after LNP Councillor Matthew Bourke. When Cr de Wit then called on another LNP councillor to ask a question, ALP councillor John Campbell raised a point of order, saying that Cr de Wit was allowing questions from three “Administration” councillors in a row.
Cr de Wit ruled that Cr Johnston was not an Administration councillor as she was suspended from the LNP. Cr Campbell moved dissent in Cr de Wit’s ruling and demanded a division (head count) on the issue. The motion of dissent was defeated on party lines with Cr Johnston abstaining.
After Cr de Wit’s ruling, Cr Johnston asked Cr de Wit if new arrangements would be made for her on sitting days. Cr de Wit ruled Cr Johnston out of order and said it was not the appropriate time to raise this issue. Cr Johnston was later suspended from the meeting during debate on a different issue (see separate NewsBytes story).
Cr Johnston said on Friday the ALP and LNP had office facilities at the temporary City Hall, but she has been provided with none to use during council meetings.