Cr Taylor back in briefings, but only for 'certain matters'
DESPITE defending his stand to not attend council briefings, Cr Stuart Taylor made a surprise appearance at the Fraser Coast Regional Council chambers on Monday afternoon.
Having been under fire for his decision in January to stop attending the meetings, citing "serious concerns” with the manner in which they were being conducted, Cr Taylor said certain matters raised on Monday prompted him to return to the chambers.
He did not state which matters they were, but stated they were "important to the function of council”.
"I'm not going to miss things that I think are important for me to participate in. There were a few things I wanted to discuss so I attended,” Cr Taylor said.
Last week he told the Chronicle he "could get information from other sources” and that "information can be obtained through council documents and speaking directly through to council staff”.
But Cr Taylor clarified he still needed to attend certain meetings to a point of input.
"There are legitimate concerns I have involving recent comments and briefings conduct, but there are certainly things I need to attend in my role,” Cr Taylor said.
"I don't know what the solution is, but what I desire is the democratic process and full transparency of meetings.
"I know I said I wouldn't attend, but I think after reading the briefing papers ... there were a few things I wanted to discuss.”
Cr Taylor did not divulge what was raised in council briefings.
The Chronicle posted a poll on February 19 asking whether Cr Taylor should attend briefings.
Of 169 respondents who voted in a Chronicle poll, 72% said Cr Taylor should attend briefings, while only 23% stated it was fine as long as he attended regular meetings.
Only eight respondents (4%) said they did not care.
Cr Denis Chapman said by not attending briefings there were serious questions being raised about his role.
"You take this job on, you do it to your best ability. Sometimes the decisions and answers are found in meetings. I don't think he's doing the right thing by the people who voted for him,” he said. "By not coming to briefings, he's not fulfilling his role as a councillor.”