Gen­der dif­fer­ences re­moved from ti­tle

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - NEWS -

Baw Baw Shire has re­viewed its meet­ing pro­ce­dure law.

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing one sub­mis­sion on its meet­ing pro­ce­dures, the only change coun­cil made was re­mov­ing the need for fel­low coun­cil­lors to re­fer to the mayor as “Mr Mayor” or “Madam Mayor” dur­ing coun­cil meet­ings.

The mayor will now be recog­nised the same as coun­cil­lors are in the cham­ber with the use of their ti­tle and sur­name, such as Mayor Gauci for the cur­rent mayor.

The Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act re­quires coun­cil to have a meet­ing pro­ce­dure lo­cal law to gov­ern and reg­u­late meet­ings.

It also pro­vides coun­cil with a clear un­der­stand­ing of meet­ing pro­ce­dure pro­to­col.

A re­view of the lo­cal law gave coun­cil­lors an op­por­tu­nity to re­view pro­to­col on vot­ing, call­ing of di­vi­sions and other pro­ce­dures.

The re­view was prompted as a re­sult of coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to broad­cast and livestream its coun­cil meet­ing.

Coun­cil also re­viewed its com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion time pol­icy for meet­ings.

Of­fi­cers said the two poli­cies were re­viewed to en­sure they were con­sis­tent, re­lated to each other and there was no am­bi­gu­ity for the com­mu­nity, coun­cil­lors or of­fi­cers on pro­cess and pro­to­col.

In the sub­mis­sion re­ceived from Don McLean of War­ragul, Mr Mclean also sug­gested a new clause be in­tro­duced to the meet­ing pro­ce­dures re­quir­ing the mayor to va­cate the chair if he or she wants to par­tic­i­pate in de­bate.

Mr McLean sug­gested coun­cil in­clude a new clause stat­ing “when the mayor wishes to speak on an item un­der con­sid­er­a­tion, the mayor will va­cate the chair and take a po­si­tion on the floor of the cham­ber and at the con­clu­sion of the con­tri­bu­tion to de­bate, re­sume the may­oral po­si­tion.”

Mr McLean said dur­ing his 35 years in­volve­ment in lo­cal gov­ern­ment, it was only in ex­tra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stance that the mayor spoke on agenda item.

How­ever, coun­cil did not sup­port change.

Mr McLean also sug­gested coun­cil re­vert to us­ing the term “chair­man” for peo­ple chair­ing meet­ings rather than chair­per­son.

He said chair­man re­ferred to the per­son who man­aged the chair and was not gen­der spe­cific.

Coun­cil did not sup­port the use of “chair­man” in its meet­ing pro­ce­dure.

Mr McLean also sug­gested coun­cil hold spe­cial plan­ning sub-com­mit­tee meet­ings for the con­sid­er­a­tion of plan­ning mat­ters, rather than the cur­rent pro­cess of them be­ing dis­cussed at in-com­mit­tee coun­cil brief­ings.

This sug­ges­tion was not sup­ported. this

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