Shire’s new rules ‘lead the way’

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NEW meeting procedure rules adopted by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council set “a new benchmark for local government”, according to a lawyer.

Terry Bramham, of Macquarie Local Government Lawyers, who helped write the new rules, said “the protocol establishes a new benchmark for local government, with [the shire] leading the way”.

Adopted at the shire’s Tuesday 11 December public meeting, the Meeting Procedures Protocol 2018 is described by the mayor, Cr David Gill, as being “a more transparent and accountable decision making process”.

“I believe that the reforms will make MPSC the leader of municipalities in Victoria regarding open, fair and orderly conduct of business for councillors and members of the public, acknowledging that we must still follow all provisions of the Local Government Act.”

Cr Gill described the new protocol as a “simplified, easy to follow set of rules to guide councillors through meetings in order to gain the best outcomes for our community”.

“It gives step by step reference to most situations to help ensure democratic principles are followed. We now have a clear and less ambiguous document in as much plain English as possible.”

Cr Gill said that Ratepayers Victoria supported the shire’s efforts and hoped they would contribute to improvements of meeting procedures across the local government sector.

The protocol’s first public outing will be made at the council’s 29 January meeting.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 8 January 2019

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