Home' The Bunyip : March 7th 2018 Contents "THE BUNYIP" GAWLER, Wednesday, March 7, 2018 Page 3
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Bound for the Commonwealth Games
STARPLEX swimmer James McKech-
nie has realised his dream of representing
Australia after he was named in the 2018
Gold Coast Commonwealth Games swim
McKechnie finished second in the 50-metre
breaststroke at the National Championships
by .02 of a second, but posted the third fastest
time ever by an Australian in the heats.
The former Trinity College student said
the feeling of being selected is "surreal".
"I'm overwhelmed with emotions, and a
bit of relief," he said.
"It's like you're finally making an Austra-
lian team after all your years of hard work.
"I'm thankful to everyone who's helped
me, and there's a lot of them, it's been a roller-
coaster of emotions."
After completing the third fastest heat time
in Australian history, at the Nationals, the
22-year-old thought it was a computing error.
"I was pretty chuffed, I couldn't believe
it," he said.
"I finished the race and looked up on the
board, and dead set thought there was an er-
"I thought it said 27.6, but it said 27.0, and
I haven't dropped a whole second in a swim
McKechnie was initially supposed to head
home after the 50-metre breaststroke final,
but that plan quickly changed.
"They said they needed me to wait around
for the announcement of the team," he said.
"I tried to stay calm and not get too excit-
ed, knowing I was in the mix, and that I was
being spoken about, was really exciting.
"When it was announced, I was just ecstat-
McKechnie added that his coach, Stephen
Garner, was also over the moon.
"He said beforehand to try and suppress
the nerves and channel the energy," he said.
"I'd never experienced it before, so he said
to soak up the experience; the atmosphere
"Afterwards, he congratulated me, he was
very happy and so was I."
McKechnie said the next step is to
spend some time at home before training
"We just had orientation camp, which fin-
ished on Monday, and now we go back home
for about three weeks," he said.
"We build backup with some hard
"We have staging camp about three weeks
out of the games as well."
The Commonwealth Games swim team
member paid tribute to all those who had
helped him throughout his career.
"I'd love to thank Steve Garner for coach-
ing me the last eight years, as well as my
family and friends for supporting me all the
way through," he said.
"Also, thanks to my girlfriend, Amy, for
supporting me and to the STARplex Swim
Club, they've been awesome in making sure
I have everything I needed to get to this com-
I tried to stay calm and
not get too excited,
knowing I was in the mix, and that I
was being spoken about, was really
exciting. When it was announced, I
was just ecstatic.
- JAMES McKECHNIE
Deputy Mayor "explodes"
over being treated "differently"
GAWLER Deputy Mayor Ian Tooley
says the differing treatment of elected
members led him to "explode" at a re-
cent committee meeting, of which he
was unfairly thrown out of.
At last Tuesday's ordinary council
meeting, Cr Tooley made an impassioned
speech, apologising for his actions at the
February 13 Infrastructure and Environ-
ment Service (IES) meeting.
The Deputy Mayor explained a quar-
rel between himself and IES chairperson
Kevin Fischer was the final straw, given
he already felt he'd been treated different-
ly to other councillors for a long time.
"I find that some of us have roadblocks
put in front of us, some of us get shut
down, while others seem to have the op-
portunity to proceed unfettered," Cr Tool-
"On that particular night, I felt that,
again, there had been liberties granted to
certain members, whilst I felt I was on the
receiving end of being shut down.
"I took exception to that, and felt the
chair on the night was particularly hard
"I found it very difficult to get my point
across, and I did engage in an...argument
with the chair (and) that led to me, as you
witnessed, exploding by saying 'enough'."
At the IES meeting, Cr Fischer deter-
mined that these actions were an example
of Cr Tooley behaving obstructively, and
sought clarification from Gawler Council
chief executive Henry Inat as to whether
he could remove the Deputy Mayor from
Mr Inat advised Cr Fischer that he did
have that authority, and the meeting pro-
However, last Tuesday, Mr Inat recant-
ed on his advice, explaining it was in fact
"incorrect", and led to Cr Tooley being
"The chair does not have the authority
to remove an elected member from the
chamber in the manner that occurred," he
"As provided by the local government
regulations...if the presiding members
consider that a member has acted in con-
travention of the regulations, the member
must be allowed to make a personal ex-
"The relevant (person) must leave the
meeting while the matter is considered.
"If the remaining members resolve that
a contravention of the above has occurred,
those members may, by resolution, do a
number of things, including suspend the
member for a part, or for the remainder of
STARplex Swim Club's James McKechnie will represent Australia at this year's Commonwealth
Games on the Gold Coast.
PHOTO: Alec Urquhart
Phone Sandra Reynolds-Rowe
0411 224 895 or 8520 3235
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