Councillor Chapman was the subject of a Conduct Hearing over a controversial tweet of an alleged FGM photograph to a mosque supporter. It was done on a private phone, through a private twitter account, during private hours. After 11 weeks the conduct panel brought down its findings.
It appears that the Bendigo Council has once again attempted to mislead the public. This time however we can offer you the trail. This Bendigo Council Meeting was conducted on the 5 August. The misleading appears to have been aided and abetted by the Bendigo Advertiser. We offer you the following capture of events from this direct feed of events reported by the Bendigo Advertiser.http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/3260124/live-bendigo-council-meeting/?cs=80
Step 1—GAG any debate within the Council Proceedings—do not allow the Councillor in question to defend herself later in the meeting.
Step 2—WITHHOLD any damning evidence from public scrutiny—keep the public from seeing the junk findings contained in the Panel Report. Not only were the appendices withheld from being tabled—the entire report was not tabled. Previous Conduct Reports have always been tabled. Neither of these facts were reported by any media.
Step 3—KILL the credibility of the Councillor by asking for an apology when a review of the panel’s decision is being sought by the Councillor in question. (The review period to seek an appeal against any Conduct Panel decision is 28 days. This council meeting fell within this 28 day review period. Seeking an apology under these circumstances appears mischievous by Mayor Peter Cox.) Remember that he installed a gag order on proceedings which meant that Councillor Chapman was unable to explain this legal position to the media and the public.
Step 4—REMOVE all audio records of Council meetings by only allow live streaming. From July 2015 Phoenix FM stopped producing and archiving podcasts of the Council meetings. The public has no way to hear what happened.
Step 5—FIND a “Council friendly” media (Bendigo Advertiser) that will throw the public off the track instead of reporting the facts.
For Example the Bendigo Advertiser could have reported the fact that the Panel Report was being withheld from public—where all previous Conduct Hearing reports for the Bendigo Council have been tabled complete with report and appendices; that the Mayor gagged debate on the conduct Panel Findings and of the report at the meeting; that the Mayor asked for an apology but knew the gag order meant that the Councillor could not respond; that the Bendigo Council is removing the audio trail of its proceedings to prevent future public scrutiny.
Once again Bendigo Council now under its socialist mayor Cr Peter Cox shows the Australian public how democracy and justice is not being served. This is just not right Bendigo Council.
A corrupt media creates a corrupt society. Until the media takes seriously its mantle of providing this public service free of bias, good people doing good in public positions will continue to be harmed. The media can make any person or group out to be mugs and then retract the offending part of the story later—after the damage has been done. This too is just not right.
The public has a right to know “the truth” and hear opinions that may not be part of a current political agenda. Just because someone has a different opinion to the media outlet or the current Mayor does not entitle Councils or reporters to skew facts or events in order to belittle others. We still live in a democracy which means that Councils and media both need to start acting in the public interest instead of their own—and allow and even foster these essential freedoms in conscience and speech.
The only way we can combat this type of bullying is to expose it. Please share.