At its meeting on Monday 19 September, Council endorsed a community-friendly update to the Governance Rules.
Governance Rules outline the way Council Meetings are conducted, how decisions are made and communicated, and how the elections of Mayor and Deputy Mayor are managed.
Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson said community feedback led to key revisions before the updated Rules were finalised and thanked those who provided their input through the consultation process.
“Taking into account the feedback we received, together with a review of best practice in relation to council governance arrangements, we increased the time allowed at Council Meetings for each public question and submission, provided further clarity around the Mayor and Deputy Mayor voting processes, and amended the way Council Meetings are opened,” Ms Wilson said.
We will be holding at least two Council Meetings at community venues each year to enable increased community participation and we are planning on holding community forums prior to each of these.
The new user-friendly Governance Rules are written in plain English and aim to demystify the Council Meeting process to encourage greater understanding and community participation. In accordance with changes to the Local Government Act the new Rules also enable virtual and hybrid meetings.
“We want to ensure that Council Meeting are more inclusive and accessible, and reflective of our diverse community,” Ms Wilson said.
“That’s why we will now be including an Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners of both the Wurundjeri Willum Clan and the Taungurung people as well as a diversity statement in place of the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of Council Meetings. We have consulted with Council’s Advisory groups including the Whittlesea Interfaith Network, Youth Advisory Committee and Multicultural Network and have also taken on board feedback received during the consultation period, to shape this statement.”
To view Council’s updated Governance Rules, visit here