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Lifting the Veils of Secrecy


The Beagle Editor,

It’s understood the Council’s General Manager has been asked questions in relation the the Batemans Bay Foreshore Committee replying she couldn’t talk about what they do because of the signed Confidentiality agreements. That is a disgrace and needs to be made very public.

Allan Brown Editors Note: In a media request to the RMS seeking clarity around the Batemans Bay Foreshore Committee The Beagle has been advised by an RMS Spokesperson that: RMS Response 1: Technical documents and draft concept plans relating to the foreshore area are required to be confidential, but we strongly encourage all committee members to talk openly and seek advice amongst their respective stakeholder networks. NOTE: It is understood that Council and the RMS meet before each Foreshore committee meeting to discuss the upcoming agenda so that Council can arrange relevant staff to be on hand to answer questions raised. The attendance of the General Manager to each of these meetings is unclear as we have been advised that she watches and rarely if ever contributes. RMS Response 2: It’s important that draft designs and certain technical documents remain confidential so that the broader community isn’t confused with out of date or out of context concepts, as they are being updated regularly following the advice of committee members. RMS Response 3:Not all committee members want their names advertised. Some members have even approached the facilitator requesting that their photo not be used in public-facing collateral. NOTE: It is understood that a committee of the whole photo for publicity was taken and that one of the committee has requested that the photo not be published for fear of being recognised in public as a member of the committee. RMS Response 4: The Terms of Reference have been workshopped by and endorsed by all committee members. Not all committee members want the Terms of Reference publicly available. NOTE: It is understand that the Terms of Reference were not found to be satisfactory to committee members and have been sent back to the drawing board so in effect they have not been endorsed as RMS advise. Whilst committee members that includes the Mayor of Eurobodalla and the Council's Director of Infrastructure might not want the Terms of Reference made available publicly the committee is a publicly funded formalised RMS committee and as such, unless determined by NCAT the RMS is obliged to release the TOR under a GIPA request. To withold the release only adds to the questionable secrecy that has surrounded this whole process where the Brief is unknown, the scope of focus is unknown, no minutes have been taken, no formalised agenda has been set and Councillors are being told nothing at all due to confidentiality agreements that were co-penned, it is understood, by Council. The Beagle is presently seeking further clarity from the RMS

#Opinion #BatemansBay

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