To ensure that Council meetings are more interactive and engaging, Maroondah City Council has formally adopted a change to a Local Law at its meeting on Monday 16 August.
Local Law 9 will now replace Local Law 7 that regulates meeting procedures at Council Meetings.
“The changes demonstrate Council’s overwhelming support for accessible and accountable Local Government, and will permit the community to hear and see more than ever before,” said Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Alex Makin
“An example of some of the changes includes the opportunity for the public to hear Council presentations to further explain agenda items. Councillors will also present Ward reports to keep the community up to date with new developments and projects,” said Cr Makin.
The proposed amendment had been on public exhibition at Braeside Avenue as well as at Council Service Centres and on the website, and the public was encouraged to make submissions.
The submissions received all had the same theme -the addition of Acknowledgement of Country to the Order of Business for Council meetings.
“Following the public submissions, Council is proud to incorporate an Acknowledgement of Country as part of the Order of Business at both Ordinary and special meetings of Council,” Cr Makin said.
The Acknowledgement of Country forms part of Council’s Reconciliation Policy Statement which reaffirms its commitment to the process of reconciliation and the desire to build strong partnerships with the local Indigenous community.
“Another significant change to meeting procedures is that Question Time can be extended by an additional 10 minutes if required to complement the aim of increased participation and interaction from the community,” said Cr Makin.
As well as changes to process, the Council Chamber has also experienced a change to layout.
“New ramp access will improve accessibility to the chamber floor. Plus, the change to the seating arrangements means that Councillors will no longer sit with their backs to the public gallery, thereby promoting a feeling of inclusiveness,” Cr Makin said.
Council meets on the third Monday of each month and meetings are open to the public. Meeting dates may change if the meeting falls on a public holiday. Council is generally in recess in January.
The next meeting is scheduled for 7.30pm on Monday 20 September at Council Chambers, Braeside Avenue Ringwood.