City of Whyalla councillors have unanimously backed a new code of practice for meeting procedures.
To improve and facilitate the smoother running of council and committee meetings, council’s elected members and CEO Chris Cowley have been working on a range changes to the code of practice.
These amendments, in a new code of practice draft, were presented at last week’s council meeting and voted in unanimously by the councillors present.
Some of the key changes include changes to public question time procedures, processes relating to questions without notice and members addressing council meetings.
Public question time is seen is an integral procedure in council’s desire to be open, transparent and accessible to the community.
Under the approved code of practice, questions need to be submitted to council on the relevant application form and are accepted up to 12 noon on the day of the ordinary council meeting.
Those submitting the question are then able to ask their question at the council meeting under prescribed guidelines and protocol.
“It is important for the public to attend council meetings and ask questions, but many of these can be dealt with at an administrative level, or maybe too difficult to answer immediately,” Mayor Lyn Breuer said.
“By getting the questions prior to the meeting, answers can be supplied. It also allows me to rule out questions which may be of a personal nature or improper or insulting.” Procedures at council meetings are regulated by the Local Government Regulations 2013 and under these regulations, council is able to set discretionary procedures in its code of practice.