New Council portfolio responsibilitiesTuesday, 13 November 2012
At the first Future Melbourne Committee meeting of the new Melbourne City Council tonight, Councillors approved the following portfolio allocations:
- Planning portfolio - Chair Cr Ong, Deputy Chair Cr Mayne
- Finance and Governance portfolio - Chair Cr Mayne, Deputy Chair Cr Leppert
- Arts and Culture portfolio - Chair Cr Leppert, Deputy Chair Cr Pinder-Mortimer
- Major Projects portfolio - Chair Lord Mayor, Deputy Chair Cr Ong
- Transport portfolio - Chair Cr Oke, Deputy Chair Cr Foster
- Environment portfolio - Chair Cr Wood, Deputy Chair Cr Oke
- Economic Development portfolio - Chair Cr Louey, Deputy Chair Cr Wood
- Marketing Melbourne portfolio - Chair Cr Pinder-Mortimer, Deputy Chair: Deputy Lord Mayor
- Knowledge City portfolio - Chair Cr Watts, Deputy Chair Cr Louey
- People City portfolio - Chair Cr Foster, Deputy Chair Cr Wattts
We will be watching with much interests the developments of the Finance and Governance Committee. Will they hold the Council to account or will they follow in the footsteps of past Councillors such as Greens Councillor Fraser Brindely and continue to hold behind close doors secret meetings with decisions implemented under delegations. The first task they should be embarking on is a review of delegated authorities and the establishment and publication of the delegation registry and the decisions made so that the public knows what is going on. The second task is the webcasting of all public meetings.
It seams that the Council has fallen into the mistake of having Councillors sit on all committees. Each Councillor having at least two Committees. There appears no mention or consideration of appointing outside experts and community representatives onto the Council advisory committees. (A big mistake) What experience and knowledge Rohan Leppert has on Governance and Finance is anyone's guess.
The real test will be in the next month as we enter the Delegation danger zone. the time of year when the administration sneak in decisions that they want little to now scrutiny. New Councillors will be busying finding their way around and they keep busy tied up and engaged in the Christmas cheer. This is the period where the most controversial decisions are made., the period when the public and media's attention is else where. Journalists take a break, talk back radio is replaced by the cricket and the administration get away with what ever they want.
Its not just dangerous on the road but also in the council chamber. Councillors are introduced to the free booze bar and the Lord Mayor's nose looks more and more like Santa.