Noosa Council will provide a “public question time” at its monthly Ordinary Meetings as part of its ongoing commitment to accountability and community engagement.
It’s among a number of changes unanimously endorsed by councillors in the new Standing Orders for Noosa Council meetings.
Acting Mayor Frank Wilkie said the revised Standing Orders provided greater clarity and reflected Council’s commitment to good governance.
“We feel it’s valuable for residents to understand the decision-making process and to have multiple opportunities to be heard,” he said.
The Standing Orders are Council’s guidelines to how it operates public meetings to ensure they reflect good practice and any legal requirements.
Cr Wilkie said the introduction of public question time was a good move.
“Some other Councils have been doing this for many years and it’s another example of our commitment to engaging with and being accountable to our residents.”
A set of guidelines on how public question time will work goes to the October council meeting and public question time will commence in the November round of meetings.
Council last year resolved to introduce live-streaming for its monthly General Committee and Ordinary Meeting as well as Special Meetings, and this will continue.
Cr Wilkie said bookmarking would also be introduced, making the recordings more user-friendly.
“Debates can be lengthy and bookmarking makes it easier to find a particular agenda item of interest. This is another improvement that we are making to make it easier for our community to stay connected to our Council decision making processes.”
Council has agreed to provide the community with more information about the various ways residents can interact with formal Council meetings, including avenues such as deputation, petitions and presentations.
“We’re also committed to promoting more prominently the live streaming service and the available information about reference groups established by Council.”