Helensburgh councillor Greg Petty has accused Gordon Bradbery of trying to force him to abandon his pro-environment stance on land rezoning proposals north of Wollongong.
Cr Petty said he was outraged at comments from the Lord Mayor, published in yesterday's Mercury, in which Cr Bradbery said Cr Petty was partly to blame for a series of attacks against him.
Cr Bradbery claimed Cr Petty's "very strong position" on the Helensburgh land rezonings had alienated him from many of those he should be representing, and his involvement in "tit-for-tat" exchanges with some members of the community had aggravated the situation.
Cr Petty said he was livid when reading Cr Bradbery's comments and accused him of trivialising the attacks.
"He's making out these are some sort of domestic disturbances," Cr Petty said. "They aren't. These are attacks on my right to speak out on behalf of the community who voted for me, knowing these were my policies.
"I shouldn't be condemned or blamed by the Lord Mayor for having an opinion, doing my job and representing my community."
However, Cr Bradbery yesterday defended his comments and denied he was belittling the gravity of the situation.
"I'm not suggesting Cr Petty does anything, I'm just saying he needs to be conscious he's got a very sensitive issue in Helensburgh and he might like to deal with it with a more conciliatory approach," he said. "It's up to him to manage these things."
Cr Petty said he had received a "tidal wave" of community support in the wake of Cr Bradbery's comments.
Fellow independent councillor Vicki Curran also backed Cr Petty, saying she was disgusted at the Lord Mayor's response.
"This is not trivial tit-for-tat ... this is not a game Cr Petty is playing," she said.
"These attacks are getting worse and can no longer be trivialised by the council and certainly should not be blamed on Cr Petty in any way whatsoever."
Cr Curran has asked Cr Bradbery and the council's general manager, David Farmer, for an immediate meeting with police, and has also asked to attend.
Cr Bradbery said Mr Farmer was speaking with police.
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