Liberal move fails to hold in Belconnen Community Council

Liberal move fails to hold in Belconnen Community Council

Control of the Belconnen Community Council has changed hands again after September's controversial election was declared invalid at a council meeting last night.

Long serving council president Shirley Gourgard, ousted in contentious circumstances in September, was reinstated at last night's meeting after the presidency of former Canberra Liberals' Assembly candidate Matthew Watts' was declared invalid.

Mr Watts won the position at the council's September AGM amid allegations that the candidate stacked the meeting with his friends and supporters.

The public servant, who did not attend last night's gathering, has been contacted today for comment.

Ms Gourgard told The Canberra Times today that the council had been advised by the Office of Regulatory Services (ORS) that the September election, and Mr Watts' nomination, was not in accordance with the council's rules.

Ms Gourgard said this morning that she and her supporters had been working for two months on overturning the September result and had been advised by ORS that Mr Watts's nomination for council president, declared just minutes before the September vote, was invalid.

"I think the whole thing is terribly unfortunate," Ms Gourgard said.

"The Belconnnen Community Council exists to provide a voice for residents regardless of who they vote for, not for individuals to further their personal agendas."

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