Clarence Council mayor threatens to call police after questioner quotes his controversial comments

A Tasmanian mayor says he stands by shutting down a council meeting and threatening to call the police on a ratepayer after they quoted remarks he made two years ago referencing Nazi Germany.

Brendan Blomeley, the new mayor of Clarence Council — part of Greater Hobart —  adjourned last night’s meeting after ratepayer Victor Marsh attempted to ask a question about developer Chambroad’s controversial plans for Kangaroo Bay.

The council sold the prominent waterfront land to Chambroad in 2017 for $2.4 million on the condition a hotel and hospitality school be built at the site, but nothing has been built and the council is considering buying back the land.

Mr Marsh began a question about the proposal by quoting Alderman Blomeley’s comments supporting the development from a 2021 council meeting, where he said opponents of the development had misrepresented the situation, using “tactics reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s Joseph Goebbels”.

Alderman Blomeley quickly interrupted Mr Marsh, telling him it was “an improper question” and asking him to “take a seat”.

“You’re actually impugning the chair, you’re making offensive remarks,” Alderman Blomeley said.

“I’m not here to debate with you, please take your seat.”

A man holding a clipboard speaks into a microphone.
Mr Marsh tried to ask the question at a Clarence City Council meeting last night.(YouTube: Clarence City Council)

Mr Marsh repeatedly refused to sit down, with Alderman Blomeley shutting down the meeting and asking for the police to be called.

A council spokeswoman said the police were not called and Mr Marsh left the meeting on his own.

“During the adjournment, the matter was resolved between the acting CEO and community member without police involvement, and the meeting was reconvened,” she said.

‘I’m sure he’ll be back next meeting’: Mayor

Alderman Blomeley told ABC Radio Hobart he unreservedly retracted his 2021 comments at the time but was frustrated with people who had tried to “blatantly mislead” about the issue.

“They [the comments] were inelegant, they were clumsy and I certainly regret them. If I’ve caused anyone any genuine discomfort by my comments I unreservedly apologise,” he said.

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