NEWCASTLE councillor Allan Robinson called the lord mayor "fatso", said another councillor was a "big chunky woman" and labelled a gay councillor "custard", a report into code of conduct breaches has revealed.
City of Newcastle councillors voted in a confidential session on Tuesday night to release the report of an independent investigation which last year resulted in Cr Robinson being censured.
Labor councillors slammed Cr Robinson for his "homophobic abuse" and "abhorrent sexism and misogyny", calling on the Newcastle Independents to dump him from their ticket for this year's council elections.
The partially redacted report outlines the string of code of conduct breaches but also reveals offensive comments Cr Robinson made during his interviews with the investigator, doubling-down on remarks which prompted the complaints in the first place.
Questioned about why he called the lord mayor "fatso" in an email to a ratepayer, Cr Robinson responded: "Yeah, well I don't talk highly of her. Whenever you see her on the tele ... I don't know what it costs council to have the makeup done every time".
He also said Cr Carol Duncan was a "big chunky woman" and "f--king unit" who has "legs like Blocker Roach".
The Herald has chosen not to publish some of the comments.
Cr Robinson, who was absent from Tuesday's meeting, told the Herald last year he "couldn't care less" if the report was released.
He said yesterday he regretted the interview comments "if it hurts someone".
"Should it have been said, probably not, no," he said. "Would I like someone saying it to my mum, no I wouldn't."
Cr Nelmes said on Wednesday the "disgusting and abhorrent misogyny and sexism from Allan Robinson" she had been subjected to had "had an awful impact" on her and her family.
The report, compiled by Australian Workplace Training & Investigation, was "proactively" released by the council in accordance with Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, CEO Jeremy Bath said after Tuesday's confidential session. Sections were redacted to protect complainants.
It states two code of conduct complaints were made about Cr Robinson in mid-2019. Eight alleged code breaches were investigated with all but one substantiated. Details of the unsubstantiated one are redacted, as is the name of the person who made one of the complaints. Cr Clausen made the other.
Asked to confirm if he told the media "I have no problem with poofs ... I'm very good friends with three poofs", he responded: "I'd rather call them poofs than f--king ... nudgers and s--t shovers."
Cr Clausen said the homophobic abuse he had received had been "unrelenting".
"This wouldn't be acceptable in any other workplace, but Robinson can continue to be a councillor ... and seek re-election backed by John Church and the Newcastle Independent [s]," he said.
The Independents and Cr Luke (LIB) are understood to have voted against releasing the report. Cr Church said he could not comment on confidential session matters.
He chose not to comment on his support for Cr Robinson, who himself said he would "walk away from being a Newcastle Independents councillor" if his actions were "doing 'em no good".
The Office of Local Government "concluded the matter did not reach the requisite threshold of seriousness to warrant referral", the report says, "for action under the misconduct provisions of the [Local Government] Act".
The OLG believed the council censuring Cr Robinson would "constitute appropriate remedial action".
Cr Duncan said that was perplexing.
"We've now seen numerous censures of councillors and nothing seems to happen," she said.
"That's frustrating. If this sort of behaviour happened in any other workplace, people would be sacked.
"I want to see more women, more diverse people, coming into government, particularly at local government ... but you have to feel safe when you go to work."
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