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Weeks in the making


WEEKS IN THE MAKING!

After SIX weeks, TWO reminder emails and ONE email to all councillors, I finally received a response from council to my email: “Inconsistency in Council Procedure,” dated 30th July, and published in the Beagle.

My emails to all councillors was the result of Council’s agenda, published Wed week ago (6th), stating that I had been responded to.

As this was NOT the case I emailed Councillors.

According to a phone conversation with a senior member of staff, Mon morning 11th, I have Clr McGinlay to thank for the response I received Monday afternoon. Clr Constable also offered his help.

It appears my own efforts were in vain.

Below is my reply to council regarding its response.

Thankyou for responding to my email regarding “Inconsistency in Council Procedure.”

Your apology for the 6 week delay is accepted.

However, I’m afraid your response does not actually address my concern.

My email related to 5 year licence extensions. See below:

Why is council seeking submissions regarding its intent to issue a 5 year licence to a commercial operation on Crown Land?

(Council Noticeboard 26 July – Jetski Hire, Corrigans Beach Reserve)

This has not been council’s practice in the past, as evidenced by the 5 year licence extensions for the Huntfest event (2012 & 2016) on Crown Land, where no consultation occurred.

Your response(below) relates to variations of the South Coast Hunfest Competition licence, not the 5 year extensions.

I must also point out that submissions were sought as a result of a council resolution, NOT policy procedure.

“Your comment that ‘no consultation’ occurred is incorrect and I refer you to the report FBD14/076 “Huntfest – Variance to licence submissions”reported to council at the Ordinary Council meeting of 25 November 2014. It is however acknowledged you continue to not accept this advice.”

The accusation in your final statement above, is offensive, uncalled for and false. My previous correspondence with you, regarding council’s consideration of ratepayer versus non ratepayer submissions(in relation to the variations), confirms this fact.

The remainder of your response goes on to explain that council considered:

* the proposed changes to Crown Lands legislation(coming in 2018) that will require consultation for Crown Land licences under the LGA

* Council’s new Engagement Framework

Please note, Council was informed of the proposed Crown Land changes back in Oct 2015 before it presented its Code of Practice for Licencing to councillors in Dec 2015. Yet this code is void of any requirement for consultation. In addition, these proposed changes were not considered when extending the SCHC licence in 2016.

So why are they being considered now?

Council’s new Engagement Framework is, “underpinned by the International Association of Public Participation(IAP2) spectrum,” as was Council’s recently repealed Community Engagement Policy. This framework includes no requirement for consultation on Crown Land licences.

Your statement, “staff have reviewed the way the community and stakeholders are informed about licences over Crown Land,” is simply an arbitrary decision by staff, as there is no new legislation, policy, code etc in force at the moment that requires consultation on this matter.

I therefore believe my question, “where is the consistency and fairness in seeking submissions in regard to the licencing of one activity and not another,” remains valid.

Patricia Gardiner

Deua River Valley

#Opinion

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