Letters to the editor - August 30, 2017

Query on minutes

Eurobodalla Shire Council has altered the confirmed minutes of its June 13 ordinary council meeting.

Both alterations involve disclosure of information withheld/concealed from the public, in relation to the general manager’s contract renewal, conducted in closed session.

Alteration 1: addition of resolutions withheld/concealed in original minutes

Alteration 2: addition of a ‘division’ called for by Cr McGinlay, but omitted in original minutes

NB: “Resolutions and recommendations of the [closed part of a] meeting are open access information.”(Guidelines on Closure of Council Meetings).

“The GM must ensure that the following matters are recorded in the minutes ... the names of councillors who voted for and against a Motion of Division.” (Meetings Practise Note Aug 2009)

“It is the GM’s responsibility (or her delegate) to inspect the minutes to ensure accuracy and “that no unauthorised person is allowed to interfere with them.”(Code of Meeting Practice 16.4)

The Gipa Act 2009 Section 120 states: “A person who destroys, conceals or alters any record of government information for the purpose of preventing the disclosure of the information as authorised or required by or under this Act is guilty of an offence."

Why were the June 13 minutes not a full and accurate record of the closed meeting’s proceedings as required by LGA s375? Were instructions given to falsify the record of the minutes, and if so, by whom? 

Who authorised, or was responsible for, the subsequent alteration of the original minutes? Once the minutes are confirmed (as the 13 June minutes were) they become a legal record that must not be altered.

Patricia Gardiner

Deua River Valley

Shire responds

Eurobodalla Shire Council has updated the public minutes regarding the General Manager’s annual review and contract renewal to reflect the motions made during the confidential session.

It has been longstanding practice in many local councils to have two sets of minutes – public and confidential – and to reflect the generic decisions made in confidential session in the public minutes.

However, following advice from the Office of Local Government, the council resolved on 25 July 2017 (Mayoral Minute 17/233) to make confidential minutes public for this term of council, redacting names and addresses prior to publication.

The minutes referring to the General Manager’s annual review and contract renewal are just one of seven sets of confidential minutes now available on Council’s website following that decision. There is no breach of procedure.

Eurobodalla Shire Council spokeswoman

RSPCA Cupcake Day

RSPCA Eurobodalla Branch would like to express our thanks and appreciation for all the support we received for this year's Cupcake Day.  

Our thanks go to our bakers, sellers, buyers and business donors - you have all helped look after the needs of animals in Eurobodalla Shire.

Our Cupcake Day proceeds will go towards keeping our local RSPCA branch operating, and providing services such as help with desexing costs and rehoming of surrendered animals.

We have recently also introduced a scheme to help pay for the cost of pet vaccinations.  If you are on a pension or benefit, we will pay $40 to the vet of your choice to offset the cost of vaccinating your cat or dog.

Contact us on 0424 228 425.  Report cruelty the hotline, 13002783589, or online at www.rspcansw.org.au.

Thank you again to all our supporters.

Louise Webb

President

RSPCA Eurobodalla Branch

Cupcakes for a cause: The Eurobodalla branch of the RSPCA is grateful for those who got behind - and into - the recent cupcake fundraiser.

Cupcakes for a cause: The Eurobodalla branch of the RSPCA is grateful for those who got behind - and into - the recent cupcake fundraiser.

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