Cr Khan left the chamber before debate began on a report into the proposed subdivision of vacant land near the Hoppers Club.
He gave no verbal warning before leaving the room.
Four other councillors were absent from the meeting and Cr Kim McAliney left the room due to a conflict of interest – meaning that without Cr Khan there were not enough councillors present to legally vote on the item.
The report was deferred.
Cr Khan left the chamber for a second time a few minutes later while the council was considering a proposal to introduce a 5 per cent open space requirement (OSR), on planning permit applications to subdivide residentially-zoned land within “established” areas of Wyndham, where such a charge does not already exist.
A council report stated the council would collect an estimated $300,000 to $700,000 from the OSR every year.
Before leaving the meeting, Cr Khan said he was doing so because the OSR was important, and should be discussed by all councillors.
The council again deferred making a decision on the matter because there was not a quorum without Cr Khan.
After the meeting finished, Cr Josh Gilligan said he was “profoundly disappointed in Cr Khan’s actions”.
Cr Khan defended his behaviour to Star Weekly, saying that it would have been “unfair” to residents to pass either motion without all councillors present.
Cr Khan said that while he was an “experienced councillor” serving his second term, Cr Gilligan had only been elected last year.
“I understand he’s not long in council, so possibly he doesn’t understand how I exercise my right,” Cr Khan said.
“That’s what these new councillors have to understand, my walking out of the chamber is respecting the chamber and understanding how local government rules work, because that’s deferred the items to the next meeting.”
Star Weekly understands the council later moved to hear the deferred items at an already scheduled council meeting on September 19.
Wyndham council’s chief executive Kelly Grigsby said that the council’s Councillor Code of Conduct and Council Meeting Procedures did not specify that councillors had to provide a reason when leaving the chamber during meetings.