WHILE it remains off the agenda before, during and after council meetings, alcohol can again be served at special events held by Mornington Peninsula Shire.
The mayor, Cr Bryan Payne has been given the power to authorise the serving of alcohol on council premises at occasions like the annual council meeting (when new mayors are elected) and the councillors’ Christmas party.
“No alcohol is to be provided before, during or after council meetings or briefings on council premises,” an amendment to the Councillor Expenses Reimbursement, Resources and Facilities Policy adopted by council on 12 December 2017 states.
“Alcohol may be provided at special council events such as the annual council meeting and the councillor Christmas party even when such events are held on council premises. The mayor may approve alcohol to be provided at special council events, following consultation with councillors.” The amendment partially reverses a decision made to ban alcohol the previous August when it was revealed ratepayers had spent $27,000 filling liquor cabinets over four years of the previous council term.
In February last year Cr Hugh Fraser failed to get backing for his move to reintroduce alcoholic drinks for councillors after meetings.
“I do like my glass of champagne every now and again but I’m happy to wait until after council meetings or in a social context to actually go out there and purchase my own,” Cr Antonella Celi said at the time.
“This money that we save on alcohol we can actually divert to other meaningful community projects.”
While the mayor can now authorise alcohol being available at some council events there is no specific allocation in the current budget.