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OLG Dummy Spit

Dear Beagle Editor, OLG have responded to my last email regarding Public Forum and the requirement for webcasting. They are not happy with me at all. In fact, it could be said they are fed up as they don’t want to talk to me anymore. OLG DUMMY SPIT ON PUBLIC FORUM DISPUTE In correspondence received 9 August, OLG states, “it is unclear how you arrived at the view contained in your recent email based on OLG’s previous advice to you.” “UNCLEAR,” my Aunt Fanny! It’s simple logic. OLG’s ‘previous advice’ was that Public Forum was covered under Council’s Meeting Code, “regardless of whether it forms part of or is held prior to a formal meeting of council.” I actually acknowledged this advice saying: As Public Forum is covered by Council’s Meeting Code, it must be “a meeting of council.” This is because legislation states, “This Code applies to all meetings of council and committees of council .........”And, as “all meetings of council..... are to be webcast”(Model Meeting Code 5.19), Public Forum must be webcast.

What is perfectly clear, is that OLG’s response 9 August, deliberately fails to address the evidence based justification for my so called “view,” and simply reiterates its previous advice that Public Forum is covered under Council’s Meeting Code – I did not dispute this advice.

OLG goes on to say:

“The requirement under the Model Meeting Code for councils to webcast council and committee meetings is limited to formal meetings of the council.......”

REALLY?

5.19 of the Model Code states,

ALL meetings of council and committees of council ...... are to be webcast on the council’s website.”

The legislation does not differentiate between formal, informal or any other sort of meeting of council.

It would be most confusing if a mandatory piece of legislation failed to accurately identify that which it refers to.

OLG continues, saying,

“Because ESC holds public forum and public access sessions outside of formal meetings of the council and its committees, public forum and public access sessions are not required to be webcast.”

This statement would be absolutely correct if council had not included the provisions under its Meeting Code, as the Code only applies to “meetings of council......”

If ESC did not want Public Forum and Public Access to be webcast then they should not have been included in its Meeting Code that specifically applies to “meetings of council.”

OLG states it “has repeatedly gone to great lengths to explain the situation to (me).”

Yes, they repeatedly said the same thing, that public forum is covered by Council’s Meeting Code.

But what OLG refuses to acknowledge or comment on is the fact that a Code of Meeting Practice, by legislation, applies to “all meetings of council and committees of council ........”

Therefore any provisions in these codes only apply to “meetings of council ....” Anything that is not a “meeting of council” should not be included.

I find it appalling that an OLG representative should:

* dismiss concerns provided by a member of the public by claiming to not understand their conclusions which are based on OLG legislation.

* fail to address or even refer to concerns described and substantiated by legislation

* provide misinformation to try and justify advice given

and to finally state,

* “OLG does not propose to write to you again about this matter.”

I find it extraordinary that OLG can slam the door shut without actually opening it.

Patricia Gardiner

Deua River Valley


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