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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Will the newly appointed Council GM usher in a restoration to meeting protocols?

The Editor of The Beagle

How meetings should be run at Eurobodalla Shire Council was recently the subject of a Code of Meeting Practice process involving a draft document, comment period, and a workshop with Councillors, community members and ESC staff resulting in the Code of Meeting Practice being adopted on 5 September 2022. Among many other things, the Code as adopted states that: 'A Councillor may draw the attention of the Chairperson to an alleged breach of this code by raising a point of order. A point of order does not require a seconder.' On 25 October 2022 at the Council meeting discussion on Adoption of the Draft Estuarine Coastal Management Program, contrary to the Code of Meeting Practice, a senior manager within Council staff, Lindsay Usher, interrupted the Council meeting with a point of order against one of the elected Councillors. No member of staff is entitled to raise a point of order. The role of staff within Council meetings is to respond to matters put to them directly by Councillors. The inappropriateness of this action was not picked up by the Acting General Manager or senior governance official attending the Council meeting. The Chair was not advised by these senior staff members to not accept the point of order. The Eurobodalla community who elected our Councillors has a right to expect that Council meetings are undertaken consistent with the rules that have recently been considered and adopted. Councillors are due respect and senior Council staff should know what is expected of them and how to behave. Bernie O'Neil Co-convenor A Better Eurobodalla 26 October 2023


NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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