Councillors defend vote against window display

By Ben Higgins
Updated November 7 2012 - 12:39pm, first published February 1 2010 - 10:41pm

SIX Wagga councillors who voted against the Simply Risque window display have defended their decision.Despite knowing legal action was a real possibility, mayor Kerry Pascoe, deputy mayor Lindsay Vidler and councillors Garry Hiscock, Rod Kendall, Yvonne Braid and Allan Brown voted to refuse the application.Councillors Kevin Wales, Ray Goodlass, Wayne Geale, Donna Argus and Clint Uden all voted in support of the window display.The owners of Simply Risque will meet with acting general manager Andrew Crakanthorp and council staff next week in an attempt to arrange a mediation process.Ian and Helen Conway-Powles don't want to waste ratepayers' money by taking the case to the Land and Environment Court but are determined to have their lingerie and costumes on display.The councillors also rejected the idea that they could help foot any subsequent legal bill.Cr Rod Kendall said if councillors were to be liable for court costs, nobody would ever stand."As a council we have to be free of the burden of consequence so that we can make the best decision for the community," he said."We can't control the actions of an applicant after a refusal and by burdening councillors with legal costs you are creating a pecuniary interest that adversely affects decision making."Cr Braid said while she had no issue with the business, council had to consider the public interest."It is a growing retail area in Wagga, I agree with the original court ruling, which would allow the display with no related items," she said.Crs Pascoe and Brown declined to comment on the issue.Cr Geale supported the display on the grounds of fairness to local business."This council decided to grant the 12-month trial and I don't recall such outraged debate then, so how can we suddenly change the rules on them?" he said.