Who knew Sydney council amalgamations would get this wild? The big yarn over the past few days in local government has been the Inner West Council – established in a controversial amalgamation move by Mika Baird which scooped up the Marrickville, Leichhardt and Ashfield councils into one behemoth.
Many residents aren’t chuffed by the change, because their democratically elected mayors and councillors have been booted until the next election, and an administrator appointed to steer the ship until then. Believe me: local government scuffles can get very, very real – and nowhere more so than Sydney’s inner west.
Graphic artist Nicky Minus got attention on Tuesday night when she spat on Richard Pearson, the administrator of the Inner West Council, during a nuts council meeting racked by protests. The media promptly lost their shit, as if this act which could be charitably described as ‘quite gross’ was like Al-Qaeda had showed up in Marrickville.
Well, turns out that Minus is being charged. Pearson said he did not want to press charges, but the police did so anyway. She faces one charge of offensive behaviour, and will appear in Newtown Local Court next month.
Meanwhile, James McCallum, who was captured on film slapping papers out of Pearson’s hands, says he doesn’t regret it – but he condemns what Minus did. “I believe what I did was peaceful, called for, productive, it was an action designed to protect the community in the public interest. I regret that Pearson was assaulted,” he said.
Expect a lot more kerfuffles and protest over council amalgamations. Spitting or otherwise.