• Tony Bosworth

New council committee meetings open to the public but no experts on each panel

Following on from our earlier piece on last night’s council meeting and the restructure of committee meetings, Mayor Patrick Conolly has just released an outline of the new committees and an explanation of how they will work, saying the meetings will be open to the public.


It’s been confirmed that five councillors will be the only members of each new committee. No outside experts will be members, but the public will be invited.


“Until now, meetings of committees of council have been held in private, with only a handful of appointed community members invited to participate in each committee,” said Mayor Conolly.


“This system has been replaced by new committees which will publish their agendas and allow any member of the public to address the committee on any agenda item.


“All members of the public are welcome to make submissions to the committees and they can attend and participate in the committee meetings,” he said.


As part of the reform, the council will dissolve existing committees to establish the four new committees:


  • Community Services

  • Environment

  • Innovation and Partnerships

  • Disaster and Emergency


“I am excited that council will now allow the community to fully participate in council’s committees,” Mayor Conolly said.


“Committee agendas will now be published in a similar manner to the way that council meetings are currently published so that we can ensure the community has advanced notice of what will be discussed.


“On behalf of Council, I sincerely thank each member of the dissolved committees for their many years of dedicated service.


“I will also be contacting them to inform them of the opportunity to participate in the new committee structure,” Mayor Conolly said.


The existing Heritage Advisory Committee will remain unchanged in that it will retain its current membership with full voting rights. The way its agenda is set and its reporting requirements will change to coincide with the other newly formed committees.


The following committees will be dissolved at the end of December.



  • Access and Inclusion Committee

  • Human Services Advisory Committee

  • Tourism Advisory Committee

  • Waste Management Advisory Committee

  • Civics and Citizenship Committee

  • Floodplain Risk Management Advisory Committee

  • Infrastructure Committee

  • Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee


And here are the new committees


Community Services

· Civic and Citizenship

· Enhancing the Arts

· Human Services

· Access and Inclusion

Environment

· Waste management

· Environmental sustainability

Innovation and Partnerships

· Tourism

· Infrastructure

· New Technologies

Disaster and Emergency

· Emergency and disaster management


At least one Council Briefing Session every three months will be devoted to disaster / emergency management matters. This includes briefings on floods, bushfires and other disasters both natural and human-made. This meeting will be under the Disaster and Emergency Committee.


The Mayor has also confirmed the role of council committees is to provide advice and information to assist with council decision making. Council will provide the long-term directions for each committee as well as setting short-term tasks.


Five Councillors will be appointed to the four standing committees listed above and these five councillors will be the only members of the committees.


At the first ordinary council meeting of 2021, committees will report to the council on any outstanding tasks from previous committees so the longer-term objectives, directions and timeframes for each new committee can be set for 2021.


Committees will have provide to the council, “succinct and clear minutes which include a summary of the committee’s progress towards the objectives set for them by Council. This summary is to include a self-evaluation of the committee’s performance linked to the Community Strategic Plan".


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