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Council accord to be tested: Will the Mayoral recommendation be unanimous

The accord of the new Council will be tested during Council's first meeting of the new term under Mayor Mat Hatcher. The very first order of business for the new council and newly elected councillors will be via a Mayoral report that will seek to have live streaming of Public Forum be reinstated, effective from 22 February 2022 Also to be voted on will be that the live streaming of Public Access be commenced, effective from 1 March 2022 unless a speaker opts out, and that prominent notice of both Public Forum and Public Access, and of the meeting itself, including identification of the items to be presented on, be placed on Council’s website and Facebook page, by 4 pm on the working day before the scheduled presentations. While it is understood that each of the new councillors agree with the return of live streaming and that returning Councillor Anthony Mayne was vocal in his distain at the previous Council's decision to follow the staff recommendation all eyes will be on Councillor Rob Pollock who voted to see Live Streaming of Public Access removed and endorse the further decimation of public engagement that was Public Access. (View Webcast statement by Clr Pollock 2:06:59) Mayor Hatcher was adamant during his election campaign that he would return Live Streaming, recording and archiving of Public Forum and would initiate changes that saw Public Access given the same respect. The Mayor, in recommending the change says "The webcasting of Council meetings increases the transparency of Council decision-making. Up to and including the Ordinary Meeting of Council held on 11 June 2019, Public Access and Public Forum occurred one after the other, on the day of a meeting. "Public Access, in which community members could present to councillors on council-related matters not included on the agenda for the day’s meeting, took place just prior to the commencement of the meeting. "Public Forum, in which community members could present to councillors on matters included on the agenda, took place at the commencement of the meeting, as part of the meeting. "In recognition of my election as mayor, I am committed to delivering on my platform of greater transparency and open, democratic, and accountable processes within council. The reinstatement of the live streaming of Public Forum will provide an important opportunity for community members to watch and listen from their homes, as fellow community members make their presentations to Councillors. With the support of our new, fresh, and reformative council, I intend to lead a Council that does all it can to ensure Council is open and accessible to those whom it is obligated to serve. "Council’s Code of Meeting Practice currently does not allow the webcast of Public Forum. Clauses relating to Public Forum are non-mandatory provisions and therefore able to be amended. "A number of community members have expressed their views that webcasting of Public Forum would enable greater community awareness of issues affecting residents. "I propose to amend the Council’s Code of Meeting Practice as follows: Current Code of Meeting Practice 3.12 Public forum will not be webcast. Proposed Amendment to Code of Meeting Practice 3.12 Public forum will be webcast." The Code authorises the General Manager to reissue the Code without public exhibition, to incorporate any relevant amendments to the Local Government Act 1993 or the Local Government (General) Regulation 2021, and where Council is of the opinion that an amendment required is insubstantial. It is considered that these amendments are insubstantial and do not require the Code to be placed on public exhibition. Adding further to the commitment to ensure public inclusivity the Mayor will move that prominent notice of both Public Forum and Public Access, and of the meeting itself, including identification of the items to be presented on, be placed on Council’s website and Facebook page, by 4 pm on the working day before the scheduled presentations.

VIDEO: The Ordinary Meeting of Eurobodalla Council Date: June 11th 2019 Council debate on GMR 19/010 Code of Meeting Practice Under MOU with Eurobodalla Shire Council Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia licence. read more http://bit.ly/beagleCC

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