Below is the ‘debate’ on accepting the various committees’ ‘minutes’ and their recommendations. We’ve focused on the Community Consultation ones.

Delahunty moved to accept and seconded by Lobo.

DELAHUNTY: stated that the consultation committee ‘sets the standards‘ for consultation and seeks to ‘widen, broaden, deepen’ and make consultation ‘appropriate’ so it’s an ‘important committee’. Related what had been discussed: terms of reference; and EOI from  people wanting to be community reps as well as reviewing engagement strategy. Said that one submission from a resident was ‘very helpful’ (on disability). Vouched that this ‘was a true and accurate’ record of what happened at the meeting.

LOBO: said that 4 EOIs had been received by council. One was from a ‘very senior’ and ‘experienced resident’ and was in the ‘format’ that they were asked to submit. Went on to say that there were no ‘qualifications’ or ‘requisites’ given to people. Claimed that the committee decision was to ‘hold the applications on ice’ until advertising again. Said that in his view it’s the ‘right of ratepayers’ to both ‘represent the community’ and ‘contribute to a council that they finance and pay our salaries’. People who apply are community minded and spend ‘their own time’ in the effort to ‘make a difference’. Re-advertising creates the impressions that ‘we are not a transparent council’. Community reps for this committee is different to the environmental one where some professional expertise is required. Quoted Ghandi about ‘greatness’ and no correlation to  ‘education’ and that these applications should be ‘viewed’ in the same way. “Barriers’ to ‘perceived transparency’ have to be removed. Asked the rhetorical question as to precisely what they’re looking for – ‘a rocket scientist’, ‘psychiatrist’ or ‘a doctor of philosophy’. The Local Government Act compels councillors to act ‘impartially’ in carrying out their duties. Said that these would be ‘just words’ if not acted upon.

OKOTEL: spoke about the Violence against Women day and how council supports two groups in this area.

HYAMS: told the gallery that with this motion it’s not just about receiving and noting the minutes but also ‘adopting the recommendations’ so if councillors agree with Lobo that council shouldn’t be readvertising for community reps ‘they would vote against this motion’. Said that he didn’t think that readvertising was a ‘slight’ on those who applied and that they had hoped to ‘attract a slightly broader range of applicants’. Readvertising was ‘just a way of trying to achieve a broader range’ and doesn’t mean that those who already submitted won’t be selected. Went on to discuss the grants committee.

DELAHUNTY: endorsed Hyams comments on the Legal Service then went on to say that the minutes ‘tell the story’ of how council is ‘spending your money’ and they also tell the story about issues being discussed and ‘values and how we impart those values onto things we deem to be important’. People need to ‘keep track of these minutes’ and ensure that councillors are ‘held to account’ and ‘not discussing ourselves’ in these meetings and ‘not having a go at each other’. All that’s happening is ‘we’re discussing the issues and doing what local government’ should be doing. Finished by saying that some of the things she isn’t proud of but others she is and urged people to read the minutes.

MOTION PUT AND CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (NOTE: Lipshutz and Magee were absent)

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