Chance lost

THE opportunity for transparency and community inclusion was lost when Councillor Paul Bridges’ motion to open council briefings to the public was defeated (Closed door remains, Eastern Reporter April 1.

Councillors Carter and Brink-worth supported the motion, which is a sign they are listening to the community.

There are concerns why council choose to go behind closed doors and in so doing disenfranchised the residents.

Briefings last one hour; council meetings where recommendations are ratified in many instances last only 30 minutes.

Cr Gerry Pule is correct: council is not there for entertainment, but it is there to manage the affairs of the Town and residents have every right to expect transparency, accountability and to witness open and frank discussions on matters affecting the Town and/or their future.

The opportunities to do so have considerably lessened as there is now only one ordinary council meeting a month with a 15-minute question time.

I would urge council to rethink the decision.

In the past, meetings may have lasted until all hours but at least the public was able to witness the process and be informed.

That is good governance.