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Collapse Issue 570:<br />29 May 2023<br />_____________Issue 570:
29 May 2023
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Council decides to retain Pelican Park playground
Tea Cosy Expo banners stolen
Bourke Rd, Ettalong, 'among worst on the Coast'
Hazard reduction burn occurs with one day's notice
Bob Puffett dies
Community advocates oppose public forum change
Peninsula resident groups meet
Talk about breeding Australian endangered species
CWA hall renovation is completed
Mingaletta elders praise Federal Minister
Do-it-yourself plumbing workshop held for women
Car fires on Patonga Drive
Three-year Patonga stabilisation project is completed
Happy birthday to you
'Burgerque' held to say thanks
Greet a dog using gentle hands
Third time lucky for young pelican?
Long weekend activities at Pearl Beach
Youth Voice Forum to be run by youth support service
Mingaletta to hold Naidoc event on July 7
Free digital classes for over-50s
Fire brigade members receive long service awards
Gone fishing?
Rotary club to have joint presidents
Collecting for the Red Shield Appeal
Marine Rescue members win volunteer awards
Overhauled tanker returns to Pearl Beach
Residents encouraged to consider volunteering
May rainfall is less than 30 per cent of average
Amendment sought to increase height for lift overrun
Proposal for 'co-living' opposite new ambulance station
Multi-dwelling applications hit by council backlog
Planning processing continues to deteriorate
Will water supply keep up with population growth?
Action needed on Memorial Ave bushland
Administrator's term is far too long
Older shoppers need express lane
Nessie Newman celebrates 100 years
Aged care volunteer is awards finalist
Breast screening available until June 30
Crazy hair and sock day for Kid's Cancer Project
Airlift not needed by injured toddler
After-hours service uncertain despite Medicare boost
Virus numbers treble in six weeks
Aged care facility honours its nurses
Two aged care websites are updated
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Entries sought for The Bays Art Show
Jazz festival planned for Five Lands Walk weekend
Entries open for ephemeral art trail
Words on the Waves festival starts this week
Patchwork group had 'great' show and tell session
Music awards presented at Pearl Beach
Education authority 'refuses to work with community'
Parents asked not to give students 'energy' drinks
Year 10 students offered meningococcal vaccine
Help wanted to protect trees planted by school
School appoints new parent engagement co-ordinator
Students shows steers at Wingham Beef Week
St John's students play in AFL Cup competition
School bus timetable changes
Students attend Sydney Writers' Festival
College students compete in zone cross country
Mixed result in girls' touch football
Nicho Hynes to speak at youth wellbeing event
Ettalong school hold Kindergarten 2024 open day
Walking to school
Neck-and-neck rugby union match for Woy Woy
Holly wins archery gold in short course championships
Grant to upgrade website for Bouncing Bunnies
Charity bowls event attracts 26 bowlers
Cheer team qualifies for the State finals
Grade 3 pennant to Umina
Ettalong and Umina win open gender bowls pennants
Umina surf club holds Nippers presentations
Charity bridge day raises $800 for Pantry
Swiss pairs championship restricted to novice players
Rhonda is minor singles champion
Peninsula Touch players representing Australia
Ettalong Classic Triples winners
Southern and Ettalong wins at James Brown Oval
Woy Woy beaten by one goal in Men's Premier League
Blustery loss in Women's Premier League



Community advocates oppose public forum change

Three community advocates from the Peninsula have signed a joint statement with five others opposing the Council's Public Forum being moved from immediately prior to the Council meeting to the day before.

They are Peninsula Chamber of Commerce president Mr Matthew Wales, Australian Conservation Foundation Central Coast Branch president Mr Mark Ellis and community activist Mr Norm Harris of Umina.

"Council is seeking to reduce the impact of the public forum on Council meetings," according to the joint signatories, all of whom have spoken in the Public Forum in the last three months.

"With local democracy suspended, the Public Forum held immediately before each Council meeting has provided a rare opportunity for residents to hold Council senior management accountable and seek to influence Council decisions."

Following the change, "residents will have to attend two meetings rather than one, and the process will cost more".

The statement said that, other than changing the day, "none of the trial changes are new", according to the statement.

"Addressing items not on the agenda was previously allowed.

"Technology such as Zoom was used during Covid lockdowns.

"Five-minute speeches have also been allowed in the past before being reduced to three minutes.

"All the changes could easily be added to the current Forum held on the same day as the Council meeting - as they have been in the past."

The signatories stated the change was made without a Council resolution or accompanying report, and did not comply with the Council's current Public Forum Policy.

"This policy, which has not been amended or suspended, states that any Forum should be held on the same day as the Council meeting."

They said the three-month trial of the new arrangement was also not allowed in the current Public Forum Policy.

"When those who govern us believe their own policies do not apply to them, this is a slippery slope towards arbitrary government," the statement said.

The only written explanation of the change appears to have been given in a council media release issued on Wednesday, May 17, but is not listed amongst others on the council's website.

In the release, council's corporate services director Ms Marissa Racomelara said the change would "increase the opportunity for community members to have their say on matters presented at Central Coast Council's Ordinary Council meetings, and to also provide more time for Council staff to consider their feedback".

She said the three-month trial aimed "to give more community members more time to speak during the Public Forum".

Administrator Mr Rik Hart said in the release: "I'm keen to hear feedback from our community throughout this trial period and the community will have the opportunity to do so during the engagement process."

No details were given of the "engagement process".

The release did not state how the trial could be conducted without a change of policy.

However, part of the council website which refers to public forums states: "The current trial will likely lead to changes to Council's Public Forum Policy.

"A draft updated policy will be placed on exhibition for community feedback during the trial."

As of yesterday, Sunday, May 28, no draft policy was available on the council's YourVoiceOurCoast website.

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