LIVERPOOL'S Labor councillors said "insufficient information" was why they walked out last Wednesday. The meeting was in closed session at the time but Councillor Anne Stanley said the protest was due to the lack of available information regarding a resolution to let the general manager start negotiating on bids for the former administration site on Hoxton Park Road.
Liverpool Council signed a confidentiality statement with a key bidder to keep the tender confidential due to commercially sensitive information.
But Cr Stanley said information should not be kept from councillors. "As an elected representative, how can I decide on an issue that affects the community without sufficient information?" she asked.
"I met face-to-face with the general manager to give him an opportunity to give me further advice. He maintained that information was confidential. However some of his staff have seen the documentation."
She said there was little option but to remove herself from the vote. "Walking out showed the courage of our conviction that what's going on isn't right, that we should be given all information and that this is really serious."
Crs Wendy Waller, Ali Karnib and Geoff Shelton joined the protest.
Liverpool mayor Ned Mannoun said he did not support the Labor councillors' decision to walk out and that they should have stayed and debated their concerns.
"She's been given the privilege of representing her community," he said. "Instead they all walked out and refused to participate in an issue that affects 30 per cent of the community that voted for them.
"All councillors were given the same report and no decision was made on the future of that site.
"What was discussed in closed session was just a technical decision to let the general manager start negotiating with the top bidders. The outcome will have to be brought back to the council and voted on in any case."