Staff strike back – extraordinary meeting triggers an extraordinary response

Susanna Freymark

Extraordinary meeting triggers an extraordinary response

All of the 100 Kyogle Council staff except for three stood outside council chambers today, April 26, to protest about the extraordinary meeting being held on the subject of the employment contract of general manager Graham Kennett.

Resident Richard Vary stood outside with a sign.

“I feel like the man (Mr Kennett) is being railroaded,” Mr Vary said.

“There is some historical vengeance.”

The meeting to discuss the GM’s contract was called by councillors Maggie May and Rob Cullen.

“It smells like a rat, it looks like a rat, so I reckon it is a rat,” Mr Vary said.

Peter Kelly from the United Services Union was representing council staff. 

He spoke to the mayor Kylie Thomas before the meeting started and she assured him there would be no sacking of Mr Kennett today.

He relayed that message to the 250 people gathered outside the chambers.

Bob Crawford said he was there to support Mr Kennett.

“Graham Kennett is the best GM I’ve seen in my council career over 50 years,” Mr Crawford said.

As Councillor May arrived for the meeting, the last councillor to do so, there were jeers from the crowd.

Before the meeting went into confidential, former mayor Ross Brown spoke to the councillors and council staff.

“I haven’t seen any of these things,” Mr Brown said.

The meeting is in process.

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