There are just a few council meetings left now until caretaker mode begins, and councillors are making plenty of decisions in preparation for the next term of council.
The most recent Ordinary Council Meeting saw multiple notices of motion, including one from councillor Jane Diffey who has requested that council undertake a two-week-consultation period to allow community to highlight the existing elements of Livvi's Playground that they value.
A report will be provided to the October Ordinary Council Meeting outlining the results of the consultation process.
The community has been contacting their elected officials to express their concerns around changes being made to Livvi's Playground, and it shows that it's important that the community does contact their elected representatives if they want to raise issues because if councillors were not contacted about this particular project, it wouldn't have received the attention it deserves.
So thank you to the community for coming forward and contacting their elected representatives. Grassroots politics in action!
Councillor Vicki Etheridge also tabled a Notice of Motion to hold a referendum at the 2021 Local Government Elections to abolish the wards system. Dubbo Regional Council will now engage with the NSW Electoral Commission to conduct a constitutional referendum on behalf of DRC to address the wards system.
The community has been contacting their elected officials to express their concerns around changes being made to Livvi's Playground, and it shows that it's important that the community does contact their elected representatives...Stephen Lawrence
This would mean that instead of only allowing residents to vote for the person representing their ward, they could vote for anyone running for council.
This means that the candidates with the most votes would be selected to represent the entire Dubbo Regional LGA, and not just two candidates in each ward.
The question will now be put to residents at the Local Government Elections on December 4, and if voted in favour of, the wards system will be abolished at the next Local Government Elections.
There are many pros and cons to abolishing the ward system, but the only way it can be legally changed is if it is put to residents at a referendum.
Wellington Ward currently has 6,840 voters, and the entire LGA has 37,080, and the quota for a spot on an 11-person non-ward council would be 2,594.
Finally, the other topic of particular community interest is the report from the Independent Investigator. The community no doubt is looking for transparency from their elected officials, and the current council is committed to ensuring that happens.
Council has taken multiple steps to action the recommendations of the Independent Investigator's report including engaging Sinc Solutions to provide training of council staff as to the recording, triage, preliminary assessment, investigation and resolution stages of handing of Code of Conduct complaints.
In regards to releasing the details of the Independent Investigator's report, DRC has been advised by the Office of Local Government that it requires more time to provide a response on the matter, given the level of complexity involved.
A final position on the release of the report cannot be determined until this response is received from the Office of Local Government, and the community will be updated as soon as this response is received.