CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi and councillor Stephen Tancred leave the room this morning.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi and councillor Stephen Tancred leave the room this morning.

’Totally out of line’: SDRC councillor calls out colleague

SOUTHERN Downs councillor Stephen Tancred issued a formal apology to his colleagues after he made “out of order” remarks during the special council meeting this morning.

Cr Tancred expressed frustration when Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi declared a conflict of interest in regards to the water contingency plans and stated his intention to leave the room.

This is a common occurrence during meetings of the SDRC, as Cr Pennisi adheres to the old adage, “when in doubt, get out”.

“I don’t think me leaving the room will make any difference one way or the other (on this issue),” Cr Pennisi said.

“I’m happy to leave the room for the discussions.”

Cr Tancred, however, was not.

In an apparent sarcastic tone, the councillor addressed the viewers of the livestream, stating, “Yes, it’s important for the water portfolio manager not to be present for the water portfolio, because he may know something about water.”

“I really thank my colleagues and the complainants for putting us in such a situation,” he said.

“I’m sure the residents are over the moon about this.”

As Cr Tancred stood up to leave the room, councillor Sheryl Windle called for a point of order.

“The comments made by Cr Tancred towards Cr (Jo) McNally and myself are totally out of line,” she said.

Acting SDRC CEO Jane Stroud adjourned the meeting for several minutes, after which time Cr Tancred returned to the hall in order to apologise.

“I may have offended some people present,” Cr Tancred said.

“I am pleased to withdraw those remarks as it was never my intention.

“I apologise wholeheartedly to those folks who were offended.”

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