• Tony Bosworth

Zamprogno hits back at Reynolds – says he's “shockingly reckless” and “rumour-mongering

A war of words has erupted after Progressive Hawkesbury councillor Pete Reynolds said earlier today the council was under pressure from “powerful outside interests".

Leading Liberal councillor Nathan Zamprogno has hit back hard saying his council colleague is guilty of “A-grade conspiracy theorising”.

Cllr Reynolds said the sudden and unexplained departure of council General Manager Peter Conroy meant the council was now under growing pressure from developers.

“There's something that needs to be said here, even though I know it will be rejected out of hand by people who have entirely pre-judged their views on the matter,” said Cllr Zamprogno in a comment on the Post website.

Councillor Nathan Zamprogno

“Responsible councillors should be acutely aware of the requirement for confidentiality relating to this matter. The inference, clearly made in Cllr Reynold's post, that there was some ulterior or sinister motive associated with the departure of the General Manager because there are 'powerful outside influences and vested interests' is shockingly reckless. It's A-grade conspiracy theorising,” said Cllr Zamprogno.

And the Liberal councillor claims the motivation behind Cllr Reynold’s comments is “an intention to repeat this narrative, in the absence of any evidence, in the lead-up to the local government elections next year”.

“I'll complete the sentence implied by the rumour: That Council is now controlled by developers. That there will be inappropriate development as a result of this change. That Council's position is weakened in standing up to other outside pressures from government, planners or lobbyists.

“These assertions are election pitches. Their resemblances to reality are subordinate to that purpose,” said Cllr Zamprogno.

“I'll stand on my reputation as someone who has expressed my own concerns about development and 'outside pressures' - who has written and spoken at length on these subjects - to state plainly that the complexion given in Peter's post is not true. It had no bearing on the decision. None.

“If the implication made here was true, I wouldn't have stood for it, and you'd know it.

“I was in the room. I made my views known, and like any confidential matter considered at Council, I'm obliged and entitled to leave my remarks at that. People have assumed what my views were but I have made no statement, and will not, given that it was a confidential matter.”

Cllr Zamprogno says he is committed to what he calls “the orderly renovation of council planning documents, including Residential/Rural/Commercial land strategies”.

“To that end, Council needs to bring its 'A' game, and I trust it will. I'm committed to the process remaining open and transparent, and I will continue to reserve my right to an independent vote on the outcome,” said Cllr Zamprogno. “I know that people still have questions, and an inability to address them will continue to be misrepresented as sinister, shady, or unfair. While Clr Reynolds and I disagree on many things, we and all the councillors are properly motivated to care for our City. I won't accept irresponsible rumour-mongering, even at the cost of the derision calling it out might bring upon my head.”

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