Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Secret Review

for Council's Eyes only

Melbourne City Council, true to form, held its own internal review of its representative model, conveniently forgetting that it is the State Government that really makes all the decisions and that the only real issue under Council's control is whether or not to have postal or attendance voting.

The City Council called for submission and looked like it was doing the right thing, but was it. The City of Melbourne did not published copies of the submissions it had received, in fact most of the discussion was once again held behind closed doors at the all illegal Councillor briefing sessions. The meeting they have when they are not having a meeting.

In reading the minutes of last nights Finance and Governance Committee meetings the City Committee has recommended that the City of Melbourne formally request the State Government to include the City of Melbourne in its Local Government representation review and that the review also consider issues related to external boundaries.

The motion was passed four to three with John So's (Do nothing) team voting against the motion.

It would appear that John does not want a representation review (You never know what it might come up with) The best way to silence your critics is to not give them a voice or opportunity to be heard.

The State Government is the proper authority to undertake the review, independent form the Council itself. The Councill's review was nothing but a joke and the administration's failure to published the submissions it received is another example of the Council trying to keep issues under wraps. The City has wasted time and money in the process.

The referral motion to the State Government will now go to the full City Council meeting scheduled in two weeks time. Odds are that John So will veto the motion and deny ratepayers and residents the review that the State Government should have had in the first place.

It is understood that the responsible Minister, Dick Wynn, would like to see a review but will only do so on the initiative and invitation of the City Council.

Will So do the right thing and support the review motion so that a review can be undertaken before next years Municipal elections or will John So once again avoid the tough questions and deny Melbourne the right of an independent public review, representaion and boundaries included? And more imprortant why is teh council limiting teh review of External boundaroes to Kensigton? Does not carlton also deserve the right to be re-united as does South Yarra and other neighbouring inner-metropolitan neighbourhoods.

Below copy of Motion passed by the City Council's Finance and Governance Committee.

The motion was put and carried with the Chair Cr Shanahan and Councillors Brindley, Clarke and Seddon voting
in favour of the motion and the Deputy Lord Mayor Gary Singer and Councillors Jeter and Wilson voting against
the motion.
The motion in its entirety reads:
1. That the Finance and Governance Committee recommend Council:
1.1. determine to undertake attendance voting for the 2008 Council Elections consistent
with state and commonwealth government practices (postal voting entitlements);
1.2. approach the State Government in relation to:
1.2.1. its published timetable for independent reviews of electoral structures of
Councils in Victoria currently excludes the City of Melbourne;
1.2.2. since the implementation of the City of Melbourne Act 2001, no review of the
structure of Council has been undertaken to ensure it meets the needs and
expectations of constituents of a dynamic and changing capital city;
1.2.3. the outcome community consultative processes instigated by Council on the
issues of electoral processes and local area representation;
1.3. write to the Minister for Local Government, in light of 1.2.1 to 1.2.3 above, to:
1.3.1. request that the City of Melbourne be included in the State Government’s
current review of all municipalities and provide advice in relation to
1.3.2. request that the State Government conduct an external review in line with the
Local Government Act 1989 and publicly declare results by March 2008;
1.3.3. request that the reassessment also include a review of the representative
model, inclusion of Docklands and external boundaries; and
1.3.4. inform on community feedback of City of Melbourne consultative processes.

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