Campbelltown: Council changes will make it more democratic

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Campbelltown Council is meeting tomorrow night to approve major changes.
More power to the people: Campbelltown Council is meeting tomorrow night to approve major changes.

The newly elected Campbelltown Council is not letting the grass grow under its feet.

With Labor’s George Brticevic and Meg Oates elected unopposed as mayor and deputy mayor last week, the council is meeting tomorrow night (Tuesday, October 4) to get the new four year term off to a flying start.

The biggest policy it will implement will bring changes that will make it more democratic by allowing members of the public to address full council meetings instead of committee meetings, as has been the recent practice.

Under the proposed changes, which are supported by the new leadership, council will meet twice a month instead of once as it does now.

These meetings will be on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, and will start at 6.30pm.

The first of these will be held on Tuesday, October 25.

As part of the changes, councillor inspections and briefing sessions be held on the first and third Tuesday of each month.

Key features of the changes:

• Members of the public will address the full council meeting, so all councillors are able to hear all speakers; • More certainty for members of the public who attend and speak at meetings as decisions are made at the same meeting;

• More efficient decision making as matters are considered once and decision made;

• Increased opportunity to make decisions with meetings held twice monthly;

• Greater focus on strategic decision making;

• Business papers distributed to councillors and published on Tuesday, one week before the meeting.

Tomorrow night’s extraordinary meeting will also see the election of council delegates to various committees, authorities and other organisations.

These include the Local Traffic Committee, the Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee, Camden Gas Project Community Consultative Committee and the Floodplain Management Authorities of NSW and the Floodplain Risk Management Committee.

Council will also elect delegates to the Georges River Combined Councils Committee, Hawkesbury Nepean Local Government Advisory Group, Macarthur Regional Organisation of Councils (MACROC), Macarthur Zone Bush Fire Management Committee and the Macarthur Zone Rural Fire Service District Liaison Committee.

Also, the NSW Public Library Association (NSWPLA), Road Safe Committee, Sydney Metro West Region Joint Regional Planning Panel and the South West Sydney Academy of Sport.

Also on the agenda for tomorrow night is the presentation of annual financial reports to the newly elected councillors.

The reports to be tabled show that after forecasting a balanced budget the final result was a small surplus of $40,000, “which is an excellent outcome for council,’’ the report says.

It also reveals that Campbelltown Council’s infrastructure asset backlog has been pared back by $8.3m to $25.5m since the implementation of the Special Rate Variation in 2014-2015.



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