Council advises they have an evolving unwritten protocol acceptable to OLG

Last week revealed that revealed Council was inconsistent in allowing councillors to question speakers at Public Access and Public Forum sessions who represent a group or a third party unable to attend, and that there was nothing written that gave them such authority. During Public Forum this morning (August 24th 2021) Mr David Grace sought clarification on the matter:


AUDIO: Public Forum of Eurobodalla Council Date: 24th August 2021 David Grace seeks clarification from Deputy Mayor Rob Pollock on rules around speakers being asked questions by councillors Published Under MOU with Eurobodalla Shire Council Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia licence. read more http://bit.ly/beagleCC The response from Deputy Mayor Pollock was delivered half an hour before Council officially responded to a media request for clarification lodged a week ago. In their response this morning (10:13 AM August 24th, 2021) Council says: General Manager Dr Catherine Dale advises that:

Council’s protocol is to allow questions of presenters when they are able to demonstrate that they conclusively represent the organisation to which they refer in their submission to Council. This is demonstrated, for example, by the presenter being the convenor or co-convenor, president or member of the executive body. This provides both certainty for the Councillors and also does not place undue pressure on the speaker with the expectation that they would fully know and be able to articulate the views of the group they are speaking for.

For example, prior to this protocol being introduced, there was an incident where a presenter purported to be representing a group and spoke at Council on behalf of that organisation. Council was later informed by a member of the group’s executive that the presenter in question did not speak on behalf of that group and did not represent their views on the particular matter in question.

The protocol that has now in place for some years makes it clearer for all participants, including members of the public and Councillors.


A Code of Conduct complaint has been lodged against the General Manager, Catherine Dale in an effort to establish if Council does in fact have authority to deny councillors asking questions of speakers. That complaint will now go to an independent reviewer.

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