City Hub poll request quashed

Shellharbour City residents will not be getting phone calls asking whether they support the City Hub project after councillors rejected a request to investigate public opinion polling on the issue.

On Tuesday night, councillors spent more than an hour debating the merits of the hub and opinion polls.

In a notice of motion, Cr Peter Moran requested that council staff prepare a report that referred to at least three polling or market research companies, one of them being ReachTEL, which had indicated it could carry out the poll for $4800 to a 3 per cent margin of error.

Shellharbour's City Hub location questioned

Before Tuesday’s meeting, the council’s general manager, Michael Willis, issued a memo saying the notice of motion had ‘‘legal and policy implications’’.

Legally, he was concerned that the council identifying a particular firm could be seen as ‘‘indicating bias’’.

Policy-wise, the motion was similar to one defeated three weeks ago, when councillors resolved they did not see the need for a poll, he said.

Cr Moran said the difference was that he was simply calling for a report on options for what would be an ‘‘opinion poll’’ rather than ‘‘a council poll’’.

He had suggested ReachTEL because it had indicated what the poll would cost.

However, councillors voted 4-2 against the motion.

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