All future council meetings to be held in Wyong
Central Coast Council has decided to hold all future meetings at the Wyong chambers for security reasons.
A staff report on the issue was discussed behind closed doors at the Council's February 24 meeting.
The decision was made to hold meetings at Wyong and to only hold councillor briefings at the Gosford offices.
Council will also introduce more stringent measures in managing the public gallery if safety concerns continue.
The council has held most of its meetings at Wyong chambers after more people turned up than could comfortably be accommodated to hear debate about dredging the Ettalong channel in the Gosford chambers in 2018.
At that meeting, Cr Chris Holstein said he wasn't sure how residents would accept all meetings being held at Wyong which would disadvantage those in the south.
He was not at the meeting on Monday night.
An upgrade to the security arrangements at Gosford chambers was undertaken after councillors felt unsafe at the 2018 meeting and it was late 2019 before meetings were again held at both Wyong and Gosford.
The issue flared after Councillors Greg Best and Bruce McLachlan put forward a Notice of Motion for the Council's February 12 meeting to get immediate funding for designs for a breakwall at The Entrance Channel.
Residents from The Entrance attended the meeting at Gosford and were vocal in their condemnation of the lack of action on a solution to lake issues.
Councillors were heckled when they spoke and the gallery clapped loudly those they supported and groaned at or jeered the others.
Speakers on other topics at the public forum were heckled and interrupted.
New measures to handle public attendance saw about 20 people queue for the February 24 council meeting before the doors opened at 4pm for a 5pm public forum.
Council staff had said they would not open the overflow room but changed their mind and about 35 people used that room after the main chambers, which seats about 90, was close to full.
Social media posts had called on the public to turn up in droves to show their outrage at Council.
The Council resolved to ask Minister of Local Government Ms Shelley Hancock to look at the model code of conduct in relation to adverse social media use.
She will also be asked to look at the deliberate distribution of misinformation by councillors both inside and outside the chamber.
Central Coast Council meeting, 24 Feb 2020