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Councillors storm out of Hobart City Council meeting over Louise Elliot discrimination report

Pulse Tasmania
Alderman Marti Zucco, Councillor Will Coates, Alderman Louise Bloomfield and Councillor John Kelly left the meeting after the motion failed

A special Hobart City Council meeting called to address discrimination and lies from council staff has ended abruptly after councillors stormed out.

The meeting was convened to note a report detailing how staff had blocked Councillor Louise Elliot from booking a public venue in her personal capacity because they were worried the event would be ‘anti-transgender’.


50 minutes into the meeting on Wednesday night, Alderman Marti Zucco suggested postponing it until all elected members had a chance to read the unredacted version of the report in full.

“The ratepayers of Hobart have paid for a report. I represent the ratepayers of Hobart … I believe that each and every elected member should have the right to go and read that report in full, even if we have to sit in front of the CEO or the legal officer one by one,” he said.

“I further move the reason for my deferral is that I believe that this matter should be dealt with when all members, in particular our Lord Mayor, is present.”

Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds. Image / Pulse

Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds was in Canberra on the day of the meeting and did not attend, despite complaints that she had leaked details of the booking to someone outside the organisation.

CEO Michael Stretton said in the report that Reynolds’ involvement was “not a relevant consideration” since the blocking had already occurred when she allegedly leaked Elliot’s personal information.

“We’ve said in the report, obviously, that there was complaints that has been made in respect of the Lord Mayor making information available to individuals outside of the organisation, but clearly, staff released that information to the Lord Mayor in the first instance,” Stretton told the meeting.


“But I would reiterate that again, that played no part in the decision to block the booking of the Town Hall.”

Zucco, Councillor Will Coats, Alderman Louise Bloomfield and Councillor John Kelly deserted the meeting after the motion failed, leaving the remaining councillors without a quorum.

“Obviously, people don’t want the truth. I’ll go, see you later,” Zucco said as he walked out.

The meeting was then abandoned, leaving the CEO to move forward with issuing a formal apology to Louise Elliot.

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