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Pat McGinlay: Public Forum and Public Access and all that stuff in Eurobodalla

To close off the year, I’d just like to post a small amount of data, and at the same time sincerely thank and congratulate 55 people.

Those are the people who, during the past year, had the courage and conviction to sit at the lonely desk before Councillors and senior staff and say their piece on matters important to them.

A few did so at Public Access sessions. Most however, did so at the Public Forum sessions that used to be live streamed and kept on the video record. This they did, knowing they could be then questioned by councillors, sometimes sensitively, sometimes quite bluntly, if not aggressively.

So, good on each and every one of the 55, and may there be more members of our community willing to do so in 2020.

Note, these numbers are based on a record review that I did by searching each individual council meeting for the scheduled names of speakers, at either Public Access (non-agenda items) or Public Forum (agenda items), during 2019. A few may have not appeared on the day, a few new speakers earlier in the year may have been added at late notice. The numbers are therefore indicative only and statistically I’d hazard an estimate of being at about the 90+ % confidence level.

55 individuals formally addressed Council during 2019. Of these: -35 did so on one occasion -10 did so on 2 occasions -5 did so on 3 occasions -5 did so on more than 3 occasions

Make of the above as you will, but I am  in favour of our community hearing and seeing such committed peoples’ views, both in live-stream and on the video record. This is important for the more than 80% who presented only once or twice and cannot in any way be termed, in a derogative way, as being a ‘usual subject’.  Oh, and ditto for the ‘usual suspects’ too. :-)

While these are trying times, Cheers to all and sincere best wishes for the new year,

Clr Pat McGinlay

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