A councillor and development agency board member has defended a federal bureaucrat who came under fire from the Whyalla City Council.
Cr Colin Carter has backed Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula chief executive officer Dion Dorward.
Mr Dorward was subject to a vote of no-confidence from the council after he said he was “disappointed” at the city’s decision to reject a controversial multi-million-dollar solar farm proposal.
The development agency had endorsed the proposal, but councillors criticised Mr Dorward’s comments and felt he lacked respect for council.
Cr Carter had excused himself from the chamber when the vote was taken because he is a board member of the agency and, due to recent changes to the Local Government Act, had to declare a conflict of interest.
But he contacted the Whyalla News to say he opposed the decision.
“The outcome of the resolution will have no effect on Mr Dorward’s position as chief executive officer and nor should it,” he said.
“Nor will it affect Mr Dorward’s future regarding bringing projects to Eyre Peninsula and Whyalla as it is in his charter as chief executive officer to do so.:
“It is disappointing that this move even got up on the night as this city needs all the help it can get from the RDA or governments.
“The city requires all the assistance it can get and should not attempt to damage those relationships.
“We, as the council and individually, have to be positive for the good of Whyalla and its future.
“The public has a right to know that not all of its elected members are in agreement with this.”