City of Newcastle has kicked community representative Christine Everingham off a Foreshore Park planning group for allegedly "physically poking and pushing" a council employee at a public drop-in session last month.
Dr Everingham, who has been critical of the council's plans for the park and co-wrote a book two years ago about the politics behind Newcastle's Supercars event, described the allegations as "outrageous".
A council lawyer wrote to Dr Everingham on Tuesday "terminating" her membership of the Harbour Foreshore Community Reference Group over her alleged behaviour at the drop-in session on February 13.
"I am advised that you behaved aggressively towards a CN staff member at the drop-in session, physically poking and pushing the CN employee on at least three occasions," the lawyer wrote.
"As a result of your behaviour, the NSW Police were called."
Dr Everingham has also been banned from City of Newcastle premises for a year and limited to contacting the council only in writing.
In the news
The retired University of Newcastle sociology lecturer, who is 73 and 165 centimetres tall, agreed she had been angry on the day in question but "did not touch anyone".
"Certainly no police have been in contact with me or indeed were called to the park," she said.
"Council are obviously annoyed that I have drawn people's attention to the connection between Supercars' requirements for space in the park and their concept design."
Dr Everingham has been angered by plans for the park which appear to show the established Sandhills Community Garden being moved to a new location.
Community representatives and Greens councillor John Mackenzie have queried whether the council's contractual obligations to Supercars have compromised the proposed park layout.
A council spokesperson said last week that the Sandhills garden would be "expanded", and deputy lord mayor Declan Clausen said it would remain in its existing location.
Dr Everingham said she had been talking to a male council employee at the drop-in session and pointing at a whiteboard when a female council employee had approached her from behind.
"She said to me, 'It's just an idea; nothing is set in concrete yet.' I looked at her but did not touch her and immediately turned back to talk to the male employee."
She said she had then walked around the garden with a representative of children's charity Variety, which is involved in the park design, and walked home.
"The council employees were busy talking to other residents and did not appear in any way threatened," she said. "There was no police presence at any time."
A council spokesperson said on Wednesday that the employee had chosen "for personal reasons" not to lodge a formal complaint with police.
"City of Newcastle is committed to providing a safe working environment for its staff and has zero tolerance for its people being abused, assaulted or intimidated," the spokesperson said.
Dr Everingham, who is a Newcastle East Residents Group member, has lodged a series of freedom-of-information requests with the council and Destination NSW about Supercars.
She was questioned by a council barrister over two days late last year when one of these requests ended up in a NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearing.
Tuesday's letter also said City of Newcastle would not respond to Dr Everingham's requests for information or action "about an issue that is outside of CN's control or responsibility" or when the "tone of your correspondence is rude, threatening, or disrespectful to any CN staff or your requests are unreasonable".