Lobo arrived approximately 15 minutes late and apologised for his lateness. We also assume that he had not been present at the pre-meeting Councillor Assembly since he asked for the relevant papers. Whether this was his choice, or he was told not to attend, we do not know.

The first sign of trouble started with Item 9.16 (Caulfield Racecourse) when this was moved up earlier on the agenda. Following Delahunty, Lipshutz and Hyams speaking on this item, Pilling called on Magee. Lobo claimed that he had put his hand up first. Pilling said he only saw Magee and Lobo said ‘okay’ and that Magee could speak first. Magee expressed his concern about Mike Symons and the Minister’s letter to Trustees, requiring them to resign as well as tenants resigning as well. (The letter will be in the minutes). Lobo acknowledged Penhalluriack’s work on the racecourse and ‘many others’. Said that he knows how ‘frustrated’ councillors were when the councillor trustees ‘were not reporting to us’ what has happening. Said he didn’t know what ‘criteria was used’ for the appointment of trustees. Said ‘I appreciate Cr Magee’s stand’ of setting up his tent and ‘going home to sleep in the night’ because ‘he was scared of foxes’.

MAGEE: rose with a point of order not ‘just on relevance but also fact’. Went on to say that ‘Cr Lobo has told a blatant untruth’.

LOBO: ‘I was there in a parked car at 11 o’clock’ and it was his word against Magee’s.

Pilling asked Lobo to ‘withdraw’ his comment. Lobo insisted that Magee ‘has told a fairytale’. Lobo then responded to Pilling that ‘for your satisfaction I will’ withdraw the comment. Finished up by saying it was ‘disappointing’ that Pilling approves of horseracing.

Next bout of altercation occurred over Item 9.3 – the Claire St potential appeal to the Supreme Court. Magee moved motion and spoke about his ‘liking’ for the Planning Scheme. Said in part that ‘while this is our planning scheme it is incumbent on anyone who sits in this room to accept that this is what our residents want’. Went on to say that ‘it is disappointing that new councillors’ come in and ‘say I want to change it’. ‘I think that’s wrong’ because ‘you have to have consideration for what’s put in front of you’ and ‘what your community has said what they wanted’.  ‘It’s not all about you. It’s not all about what you want’. It’s ‘what our community wants’ and they are ‘very clear’ following the reviews and consultation. In the past the community ‘told us they were happy with this’ but ‘wanted a few extra things’ like mandatory height limits and ‘greater setbacks’ and ‘that’s exactly what we put in’. Said that with the zones ‘we got exactly what our residents were telling us they want’. Said that with the building boom and the fact that VCAT now doesn’t apply council policy like it used to, that is ‘what brought on the’ planning scheme review. (We will report in full on this item in the days ahead).

Hyams, Lipshutz and Sounness then spoke. (again we will report on this later).

LOBO: said that when Akehurst ‘did the drawing’ for the new zones,  and ‘I was told off’ by Lipshutz, that Akehurst is an architect and ‘we have another now’ in Ron Torres. Said that Claire St was ‘designated for development because of the McKinnon zone’ and the railway station. Height was ‘not the point. The sky was the limit’ and he was told this by Magee. Went on to say that in the assemblies they ‘agreed’ that the zones ‘would not change’ and that VCAT ‘will approve’. ‘Now the wheel of fortune seems to be going the other way around’.

LIPSHUTZ: got up with a point of order that Lobo should stick to the ‘facts’ and he claimed that it is ‘not true’ that they were told that ”VCAT would approve’ the new zones’.

PILLING: said that ‘I understand that is the case’ and asked Lobo to withdraw his comment.

LOBO: ‘withdraw because the way you are playing partial’!

HYAMS: Lobo should ‘withdraw that comment because it is defamatory’.

LOBO: ‘shusshh’

PILLING: again asked Lobo to withdraw his comment and to ‘comment on the issue at hand’.

LOBO: withdrew his comment and told Pilling to ‘make your decisions properly’. Pilling responded ‘I will’. Went on to say that ‘Claire St was supposed to be the sky’s the limit’

HYAMS: said it was never the ‘sky’s the limit’ and there’s a height limit of 10.5 metres in Claire St. Pilling reiterated the 3 storey height limit.

LOBO: said that to challenge Claire St is a ‘waste of time, money’ as is the money spent on the open space for Nina Court. If Council was ‘really serious’ then they ‘should never’ have bought that ‘Caulfield house’. ‘a waste of money’. Said he wanted to ask the CEO a question – ‘How much does it cost for reports’?

CEO replied that that ‘it would depend’ on the ‘nature of the report’ and how much time had to be spent on it. Lobo then asked if ‘for the next meeting could we have a break down?’

PILLING: ‘as the ceo has said, it is virtually impossible to identify every report’ and that ‘I think the request is not practical’.

HYAMS: on another point of order saying that if Lobo wants officers to do this work then he ‘needs’ to do a Request for a Report and then councillors would decide if they wanted that report. Lobo said he doesn’t want the report because ‘it is costing money’ and in this council ‘going to the toilet’ elicits ‘a report’.

LIPSHUTZ: point of order saying that Lobo’s comment is ‘totally inappropriate’ and that he ‘should be asked to sit down now’ and his reference to toilets is ‘absolutely disgusting’ and ‘outrageous and he should be told to sit down’.

PILLING: cited section 236 from the Local Law saying that when a councillor speaks it should be relevant to the motion and that this is about Claire St. Said ‘I will be giving you one more opportunity to talk to this motion’ or “I will be asking you to sit down’. ‘Last chance’.

LOBO: said he needed to ‘ask a question from Ron Torres’. Said he has forgotten the answer that Torres gave him ‘about 5 months ago’ why when residents object ‘do you send those objections first to the builders?’ ‘Who is paying you money? The residents’.

PILLING: another point of order under Section 236 of the Local Law. Under the section ‘defamatory’. Asked Lobo to withdraw his comment and to sit down.

Lobo refused to withdraw his comment. Hyams then made another point of order saying that he ‘hoped’ that Lobo wasn’t saying that Torres ‘was being paid by developers’ and that what he meant was that since residents paid Torres then ‘he should have care for residents’.

PILLING: said it ‘was unclear’ about the ‘accusation’ and asked Lobo to ‘clarify the comment you have made’.

LOBO: repeated that ‘I am sitting down’. So ‘take me to a Code of Conduct and spend another $50,000’

Pilling then asked for other speakers.

All quiet on the Western Front until the next item on the Better Apartments. Lobo put his hand up to speak next and Pilling ‘cautioned’ him saying that he has powers under the Local Law to remove him from the chamber if he ‘disrupts’ the meeting. Pilling wants him to ‘participate’ but to ‘stay relevant’ to the item. Said he is ‘loathe to use it’ (ie removal). Lobo didn’t speak in the end.


Again quiet until Item on the Open space implementation. Delahunty moved motion and spoke first and refuted Lobo’s earlier claims that open space is a ‘waste of money’. (full report to come). Lobo then asked Pilling if he could ask a question ‘in defence’? Pilling said he would give him the ‘opportunity’ Hyams spoke next.

LOBO: said that he will ‘respect’ Delahunty ‘not as a member of any party’ but for her intelligence, ‘and passion’. Delahunty walked out at this point. Lobo continued with ‘Just do it’ (quoting Delahunty earlier) and saying that ‘you can’t just do it’ because ‘you will have problems’ later. Esakoff and Sounness then ‘filled in a minute’ until Delahunty returned to ‘sum up’.

Pilling then asked Lobo to leave the chamber under Local Law 244 saying that he will ‘not tolerate any more destructive behaviour’. Lobo responded with ‘You can’t ask me to leave’ and Pilling replied “i am asking you to leave’. Lobo stated ‘I will not go’. Pilling then asked Jones to ‘escort’ Lobo from the chamber. Lobo remained seated in his chair and said ‘You should announce to people what you have done to me’. Pilling then in a much louder voice said that ‘I have made a decision. I have the power and I’m using it’. A shouting match between Pilling and Lobo ensued with such comments as ‘you are not a fair man’; ‘get the police’, ‘this is not your council’. Pilling then said ‘I’m adjourning the meeting until the police come to escort you out’. Lobo kept calling out and Pilling told him to ‘please be quiet’. Lobo said he was speaking for the ‘residents’. Jones approached Lobo and the latter told him not to speak to him. Lobo repeated several times ‘get the police’ and ‘show me democracy’; ‘very mean and cruel’; ‘spoil my family life’ and ‘because of all of you I’m getting a divorce’. To Pilling – ‘you are a puppet’. ‘Bring handcuffs’. Councillors in the meantime had got up and left the chamber. Lobo walked out and the meeting resumed after a few minutes.