Cox waits for call on mine committee

COUNCILLOR Peter Cox says his future with a mining committee will rest with Energy Resources Minister Nick Kotsiras, who met with him in Bendigo on Thursday.

"I'm satisfied he will assess the situation fairly and carry out discussions with all parties," Cr Cox said.

Cr Cox was axed as chair of the committee on Tuesday, in a move that surprised both he and Mr Kotsiras.

Mr Kotsiras said he had not been advised of the decision and was "annoyed" with his department.

He said Thursday's meeting with Cr Cox was a constructive conversation. He said he would meet with Unity Mining on Friday to investigate the matter further.

Cr Cox said he was glad Mr Kotsiras took the time to meet with him. He said he would return as chair if the Minister offered to reappoint him.

"I would take that responsibility on again," he said.

"I'll accept (Mr Kotsiras') decision once he has made it. That will be up to him to determine my role. It will be interesting to see how Unity Mining react to his meeting."

Fellow Bendigo councillors have expressed their support for Cr Cox to remain on the Environmental Review Committee. 

Mayor Barry Lyons attended Thursday's meeting alongside Cr Cox.

"We’re very supportive of Cr Cox being the delegate," Cr Lyons said.  "Nothing’s changed there."

Cr Helen Leach said all councillors were backing him to stay on the committee. 

Cr Elise Chapman praised Cr Cox as the best person for the job.

She said she believed Cr Cox was sacked due to the publication of comments he made at last November's council meeting.

"Unity mining has leapt to conclusions about what the Bendigo Advertiser printed," she said.

"He spoke for 10 or 15 minutes and the Bendigo Advertiser reported only two or three sentences of what he said. Somebody has now made tragic decisions based on what has been reported."

Mr Kotsiras said he would make a statement on Cr Cox's future early next week.

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