AN extraordinary meeting called specifically to decide a childcare centre on Turner Crescent has been labelled an "embarrassment" after it failed to proceed.
The meeting lasted about two minutes, which covered the emergency evacuation procedure and the apologies.
Councillor Jeff Whitton cited business reasons, councillors Glenn Taylor and Jason Hamling gave medical reasons, councillors Kevin Duffy and Scott Munro cited personal and family reasons, while deputy mayor Sam Romano told the council he was not in Orange.
Mayor Reg Kidd told the chamber as there was not a quorum, the meeting would not go ahead and apologised to the 20 people who attended.
The development was approved last month but a rescission motion was submitted - the meeting would have required seven councillors present to consider it.
It's gone beyond the issue.Councillor Russell Turner
Planning and development committee chairman and councillor Russell Turner said the meeting was an embarrassment.
"It's an embarrassment to the whole of the council - it's an embarrassment to our staff, it's an embarrassment to the developer who is trying to get the childcare centre up," he said.
"[Councillors] are the board of one of the major companies in Orange and our members are behaving totally irresponsibly - it's gone beyond the issue."
Cr Kidd was more measured, saying health and business commitments could not be controlled.
He was unsure whether the motion would have succeeded with all councillors present, but said he would have at least preferred a refusal over a deemed refusal, where a developer takes court action due to a delay in an application's assessment.
"You have better chances in court because you would have reasons for refusing it," he said.
Residents were left disappointed after initially objecting to the special meeting, labelling it a waste of time.
"It's got another couple of weeks, which is where it should have been, and hopefully more councillors will be here," Janelle Calder said.
Cr Kidd said the motion would be put back to the October 22 meeting.
Cr Taylor dismissed the criticism on Wednesday, saying he was under medical advice to rest on Tuesday night and his colleagues also legitimately missed the meeting
Australian Childcare Solutions director David Roberts was contacted for comment.
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