Media policy for councillors up for vote
Changes to the Town of Port Hedland’s media and communications policy will be voted on at tonight’s ordinary council meeting, including a proposal to allow councillors to have a greater say on issues in public.
At last month’s council meeting Councillor Louise Newbery put forward a motion to amend the policy, offering up seven potential changes.
Proposing the Town to use the City of Perth’s media policy as a guideline, Cr Newbery’s suggested amendments included elected members’ ability to speak on their own personal positions to issues and the manner in which they do so.
Her points also outlined elected members’ and the public’s ability to access media releases.
Governance officer Louise O’Donnell said in the agenda item released ahead of tonight’s meeting that the Town had reviewed the policy.
“Town officers have reviewed Cr Newbery’s notice of motion and have amended the policy in line with suggestions put forward,” she wrote in the agenda item.
“This amended policy should be read in conjunction with the Town’s Code of Conduct.
“The Town supports for councillors to discuss matters that they are passionate about, however, statements should at all times not be construed as the opinions of the council.”
The amendments read: “Councillors are at liberty to express personal views on any matter which is pertinent to the business of the Town, including council decisions, provided they do not purport to represent council.”
“There shall not be any adverse reflection on elected members, community members, staff of a council/ committee decision.”
The amendments will be made permanent tonight if the councillors vote yes. However, they will also have the option to amend any part of the policy as well.
The Media and Communications Policy can be found on the Town’s website and exact updates can be found within the agenda item.
Councillor Louise Newbery.