RESIDENTS protesting the first meeting of the amalgamated Inner West Council in Petersham tonight forced the meeting to close before it began after refusing to let the unelected Administrator speak.
“Tonight proved that inner west residents will not let Mike Baird get away with trampling over our democratic rights by replacing our elected councils with an unelected stooge,” said WestCONnex Action Group (WAG) spokesperson Pauline Lockie, who was at the meeting.
“It became clear within moments that residents would not legitimise this unelected ‘council’ and its dictatorial ‘administrator’ by allowing the meeting to proceed.
“As soon as Pearson entered the room, he was greeted with cries of ‘Who elected you?’, ‘Out! Out! Out!’ and ‘Stop WestCONnex!’.
“When he asked the crowd if they would allow him to speak, he was answered with a resounding ‘NO!’.
“While we have nothing against Pearson personally, there’s no way residents of the inner west can accept the way Baird has swept aside the people we voted for and replaced them with an unelected official. There’s no way anyone in NSW should be forced to accept that.
“There’s no doubt Baird’s done this to try and keep bulldozing WestCONnex through the inner west, so he can sell families in western Sydney out to the toll road industry.
“Once Pearson left, the elected mayors and councillors of Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville took the floor. Residents unanimously passed a motion to immediately restore democracy in the inner west and to send this demand to Premier Baird.
“Pearson must be removed from his role and our elected councillors restored to their positions so that residents fighting Baird’s WestCONnex disaster get the support they deserve,” said Ms Lockie.
Media contacts: Pauline Lockie 0414 470 106, Anne Picot 0404 090 710
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