TEA TIME: Cr Katie Milne will keep the kettle on at council.
TEA TIME: Cr Katie Milne will keep the kettle on at council. Scott Powick

Ratepayers saved from picking up council booze tab

THE glass will be forever left half empty now councillors, staff and the media are no longer allowed to share a drink during meetings.

Putting a damper on Christmas spirits, Mayor Katie Milne put forward the motion that council should no longer provide alcohol on the council premises to councillors, staff and media during or after council meetings and workshops.

Cr Milne said she wasn't banning staff from drinking but just hoped they would be more cautious with their consumption levels.

"My main concern is that we don't drink on the job,” Cr Milne said.

"The community needs to have confidence in us that we don't do that.

"It's not a prohibition, let's not just put it on for the ratepayers to pay for it.”

Cr Milne said councillors, staff and media were still able to purchase their own alcohol, even joking that a six-pack was still allowed every so often.

"If we do want to have a couple of drinks together after a council meeting, let's put a couple of dollars into a pool to do that,” she said.

Councillor Chris Cherry said the motion was only focussing on whether ratepayers should pay for council's alcohol.

"It's about council providing alcohol, it's not saying alcohol is bad or drinking it is bad but it's about ratepayers is buying them,” Cr Cherry said.

"When we're at work functions I think we should buy our own.

" Ratepayers don't need to pay for it as a regular occurrence.”

Since March 2015, council staff have adhered to an alcohol and other drugs in the workplace employee protocol, but this did not apply to councillors.

Council will still provide alcohol for special events.

The final vote was 4:3, with Councillors Polglase, Owens and Allsop voting to oppose the motion.

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