A new motion for public participation and questions without notice has been passed in the Glen Eira City Council chambers, while an amendment for Local Law 2009 has been lost.
An Ordinary Meeting took place on April 26, 2016, adjudicated by the Mayor, Cr Neil Pilling. The eight councillors, representing the Camden, Rosstown and Tucker Wards, all voted to amend Local Law of 2009, due to the Local Laws Advisory Committee’s recent finding for a need to an amendment in the areas relating to public questions and the right to make a statement.
A new section 235 will be added, where members of the public may submit written questions to ordinary meetings of the council, which must be in writing and given to the Chief Executive Office by 12pm, six business days before the council meeting to which it relates.
Cr Mary Delahunty, representing the Camden Ward, pushed her support, saying that “local government is about being close to the people,” while Cr Oscar Lobo too maintained that there is a need for “uniformity among the local law”.
Cr Jim Magee maintained that “one local law is idiotic,” explaining the diverse range of laws, from “dogs to footpaths to where you put your rubbish,” and that they simply “can’t have one local law”. The amendment was subsequently put and lost.
Tension escalated as the Notice of Motion was discussed, with Cr Delahunty upholding that it would see “a consistent standard,” adding that the meetings should be “more engaging” for the public and that it “echoes what a lot of municipalities are doing”.
Cr Michael Lipshutz was against the motion, as he said, “We have what is called an election,” and that the meetings will be “hijacked by the public.” Directing his argument to Cr Delahunty, he said, “We don’t see 144,000 [people] coming along to this meeting”.
The final speaker, Cr Thomas Sounness, said he was “mildly for” the motion.
“I cannot see why the Council would be weaker if we had a notice of motion and for request,” he said, “Councillors are requested not to have a closed mind.”
“This is an opportunity to see what the community wants”.
By Simone West
– Cr Mary Delahunty
0427 970 879
– Cr Jim Magee
0427 338 327
-Cr Oscar Lobo
0417 837 418
-Cr Michael Lipshutz
0400 832 270
-Cr Thomas Sounness
0428 596 951