Me­dia pol­icy for coun­cil­lors up for vote

North West Telegraph - - Telegraph News - Tay­lar Amonini

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.

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