A point of order, party division and councillors accused of 'playing the community for fools'.
These were all part of this week's Maitland City Council meeting which saw a heated and lengthy debate between councillors over a motion on notice.
The motion, tabled by Liberal councillor Sally Halliday, called on council to introduce a policy regarding abandoned vehicles with an aim to address the concerns around the length of time it is taking to have these vehicles.
Cr Halliday said she put forward the motion after she was contacted by a RFS volunteer over the length of time abandoned cars and the number of cars dumped around the city.
"He had noticed numerous abandoned vehicles," she said.
"He had listed off some of the fires in the Hunter that had been recently lit as a result of abandoned cars. He asked if Maitland Council had a policy and what we were going to do about."
However, planning and environment manager Matthew Prendergast said there was no need for a policy because council was already obligated to follow the Impounding Act 1993.
Mr Prendergast said a policy could run alongside the legislation, but that the act would still have precedence.
He also confirmed a policy would make no difference to the timeline in processing and removing the vehicles, but council officers would review and update information on council's website.
Labor councillor Ben Whiting said while he supported providing more information for residents, he felt the motion had a political agenda.
"There really is no debate on this. I think you really play the community for fools when you bring forward a motion like this where you're fully aware before you put it up that there is nothing we can actually do to change the time frames involved in this," Cr Whiting said.
"The Impounding Act of 1993 is very clear. We have to follow it, we are bound to follow it. There is nothing we can do at all outside of that to assist with the situation except for some of the items to do with information sharing.
"But that information sharing is still following the Impounding Act."
Liberal councillor Mitchell Griffin objected to Cr Whiting saying they were 'playing he community for fools' and called for - and was given - an apology through a point of order.
He also raised concerns over the community having no knowledge of the process of removing abandoned cars.
"I think it's important we have that there because it holds council to account," he added. The motion was defeated with Liberal councillors Ben Mitchell and Kanchan Ranadive voting alongside Labor councillors.