Human rights professor Gillian Triggs in Mullumbimby
While we catch a breath from NSW elections, Council (being staff and councillors) will meet this Thursday in the Mullum chambers to heroically manage the Shire’s affairs through reports, agendas and votes.
Will their efforts continue to allow the unwashed masses the luxury of spending their time exploring and expanding their consciousness?
One agenda item listed online (www.byron.nsw.gov.au) includes a look over the website itself. Those who use the website regularly might be a tad frustrated that DAs become unavailable soon after they are off public exhibition. Additionally online PDF DAs often don’t even follow Council’s electronic submission guidelines. Fun fact: staff say in their report ‘This is the area that the public have complained about the most’.
Given it’s been a year since the last revamp, Cr Cate Coorey suggests they receive feedback to ‘let us know what is good and what could be better’.
Staff replied that such a website review would be ‘timely’ yet warned there are limitations with its Open Cities content management system (CMS). It should be noted too that the links to PDF attachments for the agendas don’t work, meaning a long arduous navigation to find the corresponding file.
Meanwhile, acting mayor Michael Lyon has penned a Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities for fellow councillors to consider.
It comes after former human rights professor Gillian Triggs addressed a Mullumbimby audience with her speech ‘It’s time for an Australian Bill of Rights’. Can it be done? In short, staff replied with ‘Council is unable to exceed the role provided for it pursuant to the Local Government Act 1993’. But such an aspiration can be ‘supported’, according to Section 223, 2(b) and (e), which outlines that Councils should consider ‘social justice principles’ in their decision making.
Code of conduct
Keen Council watchers will be holding their breath as councillors deal with a refreshed code of conduct policy this week. It’s the sort of document that can either stop poor governance in its tracks, or be used as a weapon against hard working individuals who are associated with local government. Bring popcorn and cushions, it starts at 9am.