WHY?

Lara Symkowiak: ’’Mr Wright’s contract of employment was terminated as allowed by a clause in his contract.''
Lara Symkowiak: ’’Mr Wright’s contract of employment was terminated as allowed by a clause in his contract.''
Debbby Dewbery: ‘‘I voted for the motion because I fully and whole-heartedly support the mayor.’’

Debbby Dewbery: ‘‘I voted for the motion because I fully and whole-heartedly support the mayor.’’

Therese Fedeli: ‘‘It was an internal staffing matter that was dealt with in a closed council meeting. No further comment.’’

Therese Fedeli: ‘‘It was an internal staffing matter that was dealt with in a closed council meeting. No further comment.’’

Penny Fischer: ‘‘When it is a staffing matter it really ought to be internal. I’m not going to comment on the way I voted or what happened in there.’’

Penny Fischer: ‘‘When it is a staffing matter it really ought to be internal. I’m not going to comment on the way I voted or what happened in there.’’

Peter Sidgreaves: ‘‘It is a personnel matter and therefore I don’t think it is proper to be commenting.’’

Peter Sidgreaves: ‘‘It is a personnel matter and therefore I don’t think it is proper to be commenting.’’

A LAST-DITCH attempt to save Camden Council general manager Greg Wright's job at an extraordinary meeting tonight (Wednesday) is expected to fail.

Mr Wright was sacked at last Tuesday's meeting, with the council's five Liberal councillors voting to terminate his contract immediately during a meeting which was closed to the public and staff. They have all declined to give a reason for the sacking.

Camden's four independent councillors David Bligh, Eva Campbell, Greg Copeland and Greg Warren will attempt to overturn the decision at tonight's meeting.

The Advertiser has been flooded with comments supporting Mr Wright during the past week.

Residents have called for the councillors responsible for his dismissal to reveal the reasons behind their actions.

Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak, who brought a mayoral minute with no notice to close the meeting and discuss "a personnel matter", also declined to shed any light on the matter.

"As this was a staffing matter, the meeting of council was closed, as required by the relevant legislation," she said.

"Mr Wright's contract of employment was terminated as allowed by a clause in his contract."

Mr Wright, who declined to comment, will receive 38 weeks' pay upon his termination and an acting general manager will be appointed at tonight's meeting.

It is understood the general manager's payout will cost the council at least $195,000.

Former mayor Cr Campbell, who was sitting in the front row of the public gallery sobbing when last Tuesday's meeting was reopened to the public, said she had been overwhelmed by grief that any other person would be put through that and she was powerless to do anything about it.

"I was grieving for democracy and the community," she said. "What I saw there was the death throes of democracy in Camden."

A Local Government Department spokesman said the council was not required to disclose reasons for the termination of the contract or its cost to ratepayers.

He said the council had "broad discretion to terminate the contract on any grounds with the payment of appropriate compensation".

"As with all council decisions, the [Local Government Minister Don Page] would expect councillors to be provided with all information necessary to assist them to make an informed decision. While councils are obliged to disclose decisions made in closed council meetings, they are under no obligation to publicly disclose reasons for a decision to terminate the general manager's contract."

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