Kempsey Shire Council has adopted a new Code of Meeting Practice that will apply from its next meeting on 25 June 2019.
The new code was developed in consultation with Councillors and senior Council staff and was placed on public exhibition for 28 days. It incorporates mandatory provisions from the Model Code of Meeting Practice for Local Councils in NSW, as directed by the Office of Local Government, as well as local variations for how Kempsey Shire conducts its meetings.
Key changes include:
- The public forum will be held the Monday evening prior to a Council meeting
- A meeting can be cancelled in the event of a natural disaster
- Webcasting of Council meetings is mandated
- More streamlined order of business with most procedural matters removed from the beginning of a meeting
- Mechanism to deal with business by exception via a consensus motion
- Standing authorisation for the chairperson to expel people from meetings without a resolution of Council
- Rescission motions regarding development consents must be lodged within one business day
- Time limits placed on Council meetings
The public forum component of Council meetings has been moved to the evening prior to the meeting to allow Councillors more time to consider information provided and to conduct further research and enquiry.
The change also recognises that the purpose of meetings is for Councillors to consider business items and make decisions.
Applications by community members to speak at the public forum will close at noon on the Friday before a Council meeting.
Changes to the Code of Meeting Practice that are specific to our Council include:
- All councillors must make reasonable efforts to attend pre-meeting briefings
- Meetings will be live-streamed and archived recordings available via Council’s website
- Public forums may be held prior to an extraordinary or committee meeting at the discretion of the General Manager.