We are urged, rightly, to support the now amalgamated MidCoast Council in a non-parochial way, forget the previous boundaries and think and act as a new united community. Throughout the election campaign we have heard all now elected councillors vowing to operate accordingly.
However, as a first divisive act seemingly decided even before the first formal meeting of council, it has been resolved that all future formal monthly meetings of council will be held in Taree. This is counter to earlier stated recommendations that meetings would be rotated whilst the new council settles in and is in a position to more objectively decide on meeting locations and ultimately the location of administration headquarters.
Formal monthly council meetings provide the forum where ratepayers can make presentations to council on issues of importance to them. This right to make presentations to council at monthly council meetings is a foundation of local government democracy.
The consequence of the meeting site resolution is that Great Lakes constituents must travel to Taree to make presentations to council which is regularly the case each month.
My call is for management and councillors to immediately recognise the divisiveness of this ill- conceived decision and for councillors to move a rescission motion with amendment that council meetings will be rotated for at least the next 12 months.