The Mayor of Eurobodalla Shire Council Liz Innes says her council is ready to meet the challenge of new rules governing the conduct of council meetings in NSW.
Amendments to the Local Government Act made last year allow for a model code of meeting practice to be prescribed by regulation. The NSW Office of Local Government has prepared a draft of the code and is inviting feedback from councils and the public.
Mayor Innes said, “We decided to defer a decision on a new code for Eurobodalla last year to await the NSW Government’s review. Now it is here, council will be making a submission and I encourage interested individuals to make one too.”
The Office of Local Government states that the Model Meeting Code has been designed to achieve a range of objectives. Among them are the promotion of “the making of decisions by the governing bodies of councils that are in the best interests of the council and the community as a whole” as well as “promoting more accessible, orderly, effective and efficient meetings and to provide councils with the tools to meet those outcomes.”
The new rules are also designed to codify areas of common practice across councils, promote greater consistency between councils, allow greater flexibility in meetings and accommodate current and emerging technologies such as electronic notice, electronic voting systems and webcasting.
Once the code of practice has been finalised councils will have six months to adopt an approach based on the Model Meeting Code.
Email submissions can be made to: email@example.com with the subject Model Meeting Code Consultation and marked to the attention of OLG’s Council Governance Team. Submissions need to be made before close of business on Friday 16 March.