Public question changes concern George Town ratepayers

George Town ratepayers have raised their concerns over proposed changes to the public question guidelines at council meetings.

According to the agenda, a draft Public Question Time policy will be voted on at Wednesday’s meeting.

Eight public submission were received by the council in response to the policy, with six objecting to the changes.

The concerns related to the length of time allocated for public question time, the requirement to register interest to ask questions and for members of the public to identify themselves publicly prior to asking a question

Members of the public also wrote to the council stating their belief that the new policy would hand power of public question time to the general manager, not the chair of the meeting and that it unfairly prohibited preamble statements to give questions context.

Resident and former George Town councillor Graeme Neilsen said the change of policy would not allow fair scrutiny of the council. 

In a letter of objection to the changes he wrote: “This policy is a knee jerk reaction to events and avoidance of responding to perfectly reasonable questions in recent months relating to the activities of council. 

“I urge council to remain with the status quo which caters for the responsible asking of questions with the expectation of considered and respectful responses.”

The council meets at 6pm on Wednesday at Hillwood.

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