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No need to concern yourself ; it's an Operational Matter

The Beagle Editor

Our Council, the Eurobodalla Shire Council senior management staff, often say, when questioned about decisions, they were made as an "Operational Matter". Council makes significant decisions of at considerable cost to the shire's residents and ratepayers under the heading of ‘Operational Matter or Matters’. When several of our elected councillors were recently asked to describe and fully explain what an "Operational Matter" is, or was, they couldn’t. But their delegated authority to the General Manager and staff has allowed costly decisions to be made under the guise of "operational matter or matters" without the councillors direct involvement.  How good is that? Council say "Procedures and codes of practice are considered operational matters on which councils are not required to seek feedback through public exhibition." Who at Council determines what an operational matter is ?

What is the definition of Operational Matters, or an Operational Matter ?

Searching through the NSW Local Act for information and definitions of Operational Matters or Matter that applies to local council operations in NSW, it seems there isn’t one, or any.

Discussions with staff of the NSW Office Of Local Government, confirmed there is no Operational Matter defined or included in the NSW Local Government Act.

Local Council senior management often uses the term for self importance reasons. The correct term is ‘Delegated Authority’, apparently. Delegated Authority is in fact the authority of the a shires residents and ratepayers, delegated to the elected representatives, who quite often don’t understand their elected responsibilities at all, accepting and believing senior management advice and opinion. It seems because of laziness of some of our elected representatives the general community is often being fed large amounts of misleading and misinformation. "Operational matter or matters" is an invented label by senior public servants. New Speak Language.             

Allan Brown


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