UPDATE: Albury Council has voted 5-4 on Tuesday night to block NRL heavyweight Melbourne Storm from using venues it manages in preparation for a season re-start.
The Storm's preparations have been thrown into turmoil with the decision to go against a staff recommendation to allow the club to use Greenfield Park.
Cr Darren Cameron moved the motion the Storm not be permitted to use council facilities to train and was supported by deputy mayor Amanda Cohn, Cr Graham Docksey, Cr David Thurley and Cr Alice Glachan.
Mayor Kevin Mack, Cr Stuchbery, Cr Murray King and Cr Henk van de Ven wanted Storm to be able to train on Greenfield Park as per the original plan agreed to by the NSW Government, NRL and council management.
Albury Sportsground, which has hosted Melbourne Rebels rugby union trials, will now be used by the Storm after a Plan-B deal was put in place between the Storm and Albury Tigers.
The switch was confirmed by Storm chief executive Dave Donaghy,
The Tigers ground is available under an exclusive use deal between the council and the club confirmed by council chief executive Frank Zaknich during the extraordinary meeting tonight.
Cr Cameron said the Storm coming to Albury was only a short-term arrangement and the council's decision would not have lasting implications for attracting other major sporting events to the city.
"The reality is they have committed to four nights," he said.
"The reason is obvious because there is an expectation the Victorian government will lift restrictions next Monday and that is the last of them coming up here to train.
"No amount of money is worth someone's life.
"How do we expect residents of this city to continue to follow the stringent regime in place when an exemption like this is made?"
Cr Cameron doubted Albury would be "blacklisted" by the NRL and Melbourne Storm for its decision.
Cr Mack said councillors had over-ridden expert advice.
Breaking: Melbourne Storm not permitted to use @AlburyCity public facilities for training after extraordinary council meeting tonight. Thank you to councillors that voted with me for one set of rules for all of us, and to make health and safety our top priorities ♥️— Amanda Cohn (@DrAmandaCohn) May 5, 2020
"This organisation (Storm) is a national business that pays players who have families," he said.
"We are preventing them from conducting their business because we believe we are impacting our community when in fact there are more rigorous biosecurity measures imposed on this team than people walking around supermarkets in Albury-Wodonga," he said.
"The chief medical officer has given them permission.
"I've spent the last six or seven years as mayor of this city trying to advocate for major events and bring these teams to our city.
"It is folly to suggest that closing the door on them in this case would not send a message to the rest of the country that we are open for business.
"We haven't really considered the long-term impacts."
"People have lost their jobs, people have lost their businesses, people are unable to participate in their own community sport, they can't attend weddings or funerals," she said.
"It's a slap in the face to people doing the right thing for weeks.
"I acknowledge with biosecurity protocols in place the risk of transmission is low, but there is not no risk.
"Temperature checks are not fool proof.
"I'm not willing to bet the lives of my most vulnerable patients on NRL players following rules.
"We are accepting some risk of a cluster outbreak in Albury among the members of Melbourne Storm team and their support staff."
Donaghy said the strict health and biosecurity protocols put in place by the NRL were already underway.
The protocols were compiled by a group of medical experts and endorsed by one of Australia's leading biosecurity experts, Associate Professor David Heslop.
"The club is in receipt of written advice and guidance from medical and safety experts, including those specialising in pandemic and bio-security matters, which provides us with comfort heading into the resumption of training," Donaghy said.
"We're looking forward to a very good week of training in Albury as we get 2020 back on track."
EARLIER: Albury Council has confirmed an extraordinary meeting will be held on Tuesday night to discuss Melbourne Storm NRL team using the city as a training base.
Toohey's News: Listen to Barry Toohey's new podcast in your Podcast app
Melbourne Storm chief executive Dave Donaghy had a briefing with Albury councillors on Monday night following a scheduled community forum about another matter.
The Storm are due to arrive in Albury on Tuesday and begin training at Greenfield Park on Wednesday.
It's understood a search for an alternate, privately owned venue for Storm to use is underway.
Deputy mayor Amanda Cohn and Cr Darren Cameron made the request for the extraordinary meeting.
"My end game is very simple," Cr Cameron said.
"This is a decision, whether it is for or against, that has to be made by the councillors of Albury, not by staff, and not by any person outside of council."
Cr David Thurley said he was also concerned with the lack of consultation.
"It would seem Melbourne Storm have been talking to people in this community, but they didn't really come to council," he said.
"They will say 'the NSW government has given us permission to travel into NSW and therefore if we stay at someone's motel and observe all the conditions and protocols what has it got to do with you Albury Council?'
"I have this concern the people of Albury weren't brought into the loop and been privy to these early discussions."
Cr Thurley said the Storm players must be on their best behaviour with a one strike and out policy.
"If someone buggers up don't give him a suspension or suspended fine," he said.
"The whole lot of them need to go.
"We can't make excuses all the time."
But mayor Kevin Mack said councillors were seeking further information on the biosecurity arrangements proposed for the temporary visit by the Melbourne Storm and an update on potential use of council facilities.
"These matters will be discussed at tonight's extraordinary meeting," he said.