The Launceston City Council has each meeting a number
of items that are recommended to be dealt with in
closed session,recently the numbers of these items
would seem to be increasing.
I ask why?
Does the Council have something to hide from
The Ratepayers and Electors of Launceston deserve to be
given full information about developments in their
Launceston City Council apparently believes that the
people of the City who they represent should just trust
the Aldermen and Officers as "Father Knows Best".
At the council meeting of May 7 there were 8 items on the agenda that dealt with closed session.
I asked a question in relation to this and
another question of a similar nature in relation to
the citizens asking questions during their agenda item
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME ,May 7 at 1-00 pm.
The Public Gallery was overflowing by the way
with a class of Prospect High pupils observing
how citizens can participate in local government,
I wonder considering the intransigence displayed
by the Mayor,what they thought.
See below for a transcript of the 2 questions that
RE ITEM NUMBERS 12.4,12.5,12.6,12.7,12.8,12.9,
12.10 and 13.4 What does the Launceston City Council
have to hide from the Ratepayers and Electors of the
City that it has to recommend all of these items to
be dealt with in closed session?
Has the inclusion of these items on an open council
meeting agenda prevented other items of great
concern to the Launceston people being brought to
the table earlier, could there be an additional
meeting of council convened to discuss items
considered private with a committee report tabled as
1 agenda item with a recommendation to note the
The record of Minutes was incomplete
The answer from the Mayor was "the items related to matters which were of a confidential,financial or legal nature affecting members of the public.Schedule 4 of the Local Government Act 1993 determines how these matters are to be dealt with.Council is complying with the Act.
In relation to agenda item 3,the Citizens of
Launceston are not being given sufficient
opportunity to question their elected aldermen
during a Council Meeting , if they do manage to
ask a question in this section, they are lucky
if they receive an answer during the meeting, or
even afterwards, is there a statutory timeframe for questions asked during Council Public Question Time
to be answered?
The Answer from The Mayor was YES.
can the Launceston City Council Standing Orders and/or the requirements under the Local Government Act be reviewed so as to provide additional opportunities for public questioning during Council meetings - there are many issues of concern to the public which need answers in this forum which never make it to the agenda papers?
I further ask that on considering this matter can a mechanism be developed
which will allow greater detail to appear in the ORDER OF BUSINESS so
that the Public are permitted to ask questions on matters that come to the table without agenda notes
e. g. ALDERMEN'S REPORTS,
ANNOUNCEMENTS BY THE MAYOR
, REPORTS BY THE MAYOR ,
REPORTS BY THE GENERAL MANAGER,
Or does this Council believe that the Ratepayers and Electors of Launceston should trust it's Aldermen and Officers as they know best, particularly considering there are 8 items on todays agenda that are
closed to the public.?
The answer from The Mayor "NO,there is no statutory time frame for answers to questions from Public Question Time,and in answer of the second part of question 2;yes ,the provisions of the Meeting Procedures By -law could be revised.Council's actions were compliant with the Local Government Act 1993 and Council's Meeting Procedure By Law."
Full verification of the quoted replies by going to the
minutes link at the top of this section.
When I locate on the LAUNCESTON CITY COUNCIL website
the direct link to Council's archived minutes I shall be placing a link there as well for the benefit of the
Launceston Public whether they be electors or non-electors.
All who live ,work or play in Launceston are entitled to
know how our City is being managed.