Thursday, March 22, 2012

Significant Motion and Voting: Ethical Issue

Believe it or not this is the short version!!

Cr. Bev Colomb has given notice of her intention to move the following motion:
“ Part A”
While noting we are not in breach of any regulations currently, Council wishes to lead the way in any review processes for Councillor Conduct and Local Law and requests TheMinister of Local Government to address rules around a Councillor working for another Councillor in a paid position.
“Part B” (withdrawn after much pressure)
That officers prepare a report for Council that gives us protocols to put in place for Council to monitor and manage when a Councillor is employed by another that is transparent and shows good governance, and to investigate if a Local Law can be assistance.”
To address Council processes around one or more Councillors employed by another.

As discussion commenced a Motion was Moved: Cr. Shaw (who employees Cr. Smith) and Seconded: Cr. Celi to move this simple moral and ethical issue out of the transparent public domain and to hold the discussions in-camera (why we must wonder????) The motion to move this simple question of morality and conflict of interest was voted on in the affirmative by, Shaw, Smith, Gibb, Celi, Goodrum and decided by the vote of Martin as Mayor.

The Motion Was Moved by Cr. Colomb Seconded: Cr. Eustace as follows:
Part A
While noting we are not in breach of any regulations currently, Council wishes to lead the way in any review processes for Councillor Conduct and Local Law and requests TheMinister of Local Government to address rules around a Councillor working for another Councillor in a paid position.
Part B
That officers prepare a report for Council that gives us protocols to put in place for Council to monitor and manage when a Councillor is employed by another that is transparent and shows good governance, and to investigate if a Local Law can be assistance.
Cr. Colomb requested leave of the Council to withdraw Part B of the motion. Council agreed to grant leave for Part B of the motion to be withdrawn.

Then the clincher of duplicity where a Motion Moved: by Cr. Gibb Seconded: Cr. Celi: That Council resolves that the Council decision passed in camera be retained as a confidential item pursuant to Section 77(2)(a) and (b) of the Local Government Act 1989and be placed in a separate minute book for confidential items.

VOTE BY DIVISION (Requested by Cr. Colomb)
For: Cr. Celi, Cr. Gibb and Cr Smith.
Against: Cr. Bowden, Cr. Colomb, Cr. Eustace, Cr. Martin, Cr. Pittock, Cr. Rodgers and Cr. Shaw.

Substantive Motion was Put While noting we are not in breach of any regulations currently, Council wishes to lead the way in any review processes for Councillor Conduct and Local Law and requests the Minister of Local Government to address rules around a Councillor working for another Councillor in a paid position.

VOTE BY DIVISION (Requested by Cr. Colomb)
For: Cr. Bowden, Cr. Colomb, Cr. Eustace, Cr. Gibb, Cr. Pittock and Cr. Rodgers.
Against: Cr. Celi, Cr. Martin, Cr. Shaw and Cr. Smith.

It is interesting to take a close look at the voting patterns in this process. It appears to this writer that it is obvious that the patterns change just enough to make it look like a fair and impartial consideration of the issues. But when analyzed it becomes obvious that some votes make no sense based on the actors and their prior positions and are only a deception to confuse us as to the real situation.

In one case (Gibb) we have a councillor who tries to keep the result confidential and then votes for the motion. We can only wonder where some of these votes would have been cast had this motion been carried to keep the results secret.

We can understand the behavior of Shaw (the employer) and Smith (the employee) in their voting patterns. But the others who kept this simple moral and ethical issue out of the public domain … just why would they do this?

And even more interesting that Celi, Martin, Shaw and Smith.
Would vote to not present the moral and ethical problem to TheMinister.

Win #2: Victoria Electoral Commission Review

The efforts of many ratepayers overturned the demonic and costly efforts and mailings by TheShire (which included commissioning a legal firm to send a letter to the Victoria Electoral Commission accusing them of bias).

The effort was not directed against single councillor wards which may seem the case; it was direct against an organization that does not listen to its ratepayers. An arrogant and marginalizing organization (Mornington Peninsula Shire) and some of the councillors who uphold and give overwhelming support to this culture.

To this end the following councillors must be unelected in October and the reasons will be clear on some of the other votes by division that will be documented later in this newsletter.

Gibb/Celi who are already blatantly (to some) campaigning as a unit in Seawinds Ward.
Shaw: Briars Ward (Employer)
Smith: Cerberus Ward (Employee)
Goodrum: Nepean Ward (Time to Retire and enjoy life)
Martin: Red Hill Ward

Does not matter much who is elected in their place as the devil himself would be an improvement in Democracy, Ratepayers and Residents Rights, Transparency and Accountability.

This action would change the dynamics of TheCouncil from being the “Board of Directed” to “The Board of Directors” which is what we elect them to be.

It is important today to start the campaign against these people and so I am suggesting that you start talking them down if you know anyone in their wards. Also looking for candidates to stand against them. Lots of help here including how to get elected and what to really expect if elected. Contact me for more info or if interested.

For those of you who are not happy with the CEO consider this: “a council with a lot of new faces challenging the status quo is Kryptonite to a CEO”.

Unbiased Officer Reports

Mr. Joe Lenzo, a resident of Safety Beach, asked the following question: “Are officers expected to give balanced and impartial reports pointing out pros and cons of an issue or only to present a report that supports their not so hidden objectives so that the Council votes the way the officers think they should?”

The question was answered at the meeting by Dr. Michael Kennedy OAM, Chief Executive Officer who responded that yes, officers are expected to give impartial advice to Council, reflecting their technical expertise (Planning, Road Safety, Finance etc.). Sometimes that advice is very firmly based in legislation (e.g. Planning Scheme), sometimes advice is more value based. Officers should be unconcerned with what Council decides (‘professionally indifferent’). Officers provide advice, Council makes decisions and officers implement whatever Council decides.
The question above becomes very important when linked to the question that was not considered: Mr. Joe Lenzo, a resident of Safety Beach, asked a question which was not accepted as it did not meet Public Question Time guidelines.

The Question Was:
Please explain how after presenting a report so biased against recording minutes that Mr. Noel Buck: Manager Governance & Corporate Support, Mornington Peninsula can be considered to have no direct or indirect interest when his comments will be recorded and we will have the ability to challenge his comments?

This question was directed at the biased report (see below) presented by Mr. Noel Buck: Manager Governance & Corporate Support, Mornington Peninsula Shire to the councillors in relation to recording council minutes. I challenge you to, after you read this report, to point out any indication of a fair and balanced (impartial advice) report.

My original intent was to highlight some of the more obvious prejudices but each time I try to read it I become nauseated and have to stick my finger down my throat. I am confident that you will see the predisposition of this report without my help.


REPORT TO Council Meeting ITEM NO. 2.4
MEETING DATE Tuesday, 13 March, 2012
SUBJECT Audio Recording of Council Meetings
PREPARED BY Noel Buck, Manager – Governance and Corporate Support
AUTHORISED BY Director – Sustainable Organisation
FILE NO. 11-017249

This report responds to an item of Urgent Business considered at the Council meeting of 14 November, 2011, where Council requested a report be provided on issues relating to the recording, by members of the public and/or Council, of Council meetings.

The report will address the issues Council needs to consider in reaching its decision:

• Risk Management:
- Defamation;
- Infringement of Copyright;
- Breach of privacy/disclosure of personal information; and
- Publishing of offensive material.
• Costs of implementing;

• Distribution of recordings;

• Local Law implications; and

• The Public Question Time process, as an associated issue to recording of meetings.

The report recommends that Council, having considered the issues contained within the report,
determines whether Council meetings will be recorded, and if so, the extent of the distribution of those


Council, at its meeting on Monday, 14 November, 2011, under Urgent Business, resolved as follows:

“ That a report be provided to Council as soon as possible outlining the pros and cons of audio recording Council meetings, including relevant experience in other municipalities. The report is to also canvas legal ramifications and costs.”


Local Government Act 1989 – Minutes of Meetings

Section 93 of the Local Government Act 1989 (as amended) provides the following:

(1) The Council must keep minutes of each meeting of the Council.

(2) The minutes of a Council meeting must be submitted to the next appropriate
meeting of the Council for confirmation.

(3) The Chairperson of a Special Committee must arrange for minutes of each
meeting of the Committee to be kept.

(4) If subsection (3) applies, the Chairperson must submit the minutes of a
Committee meeting to the next meeting of the Committee for confirmation.

(5) If the minutes are confirmed, the Chairperson at the meeting must sign the
minutes and certify that they have been confirmed.

(6) The minutes of a meeting of the Council or a Special Committee must –

(a) contain details of the proceedings and resolutions made;

(b) be clearly expressed;

(c) be self-explanatory; and

(d in relation to resolutions recorded in the minutes, incorporate relevant
reports or a summary of the relevant reports considered in the decision
making process.”

It is emphasised that Council decisions are expressed through resolutions recorded in the minutes, and what is said by officers, Councillors or others in the lead-up to Council voting on a motion before it, has no impact on the formal Council decision. This is an important point to consider when deliberating on the merits of audio recording of meetings.

Historically, Councils made audio recordings of their meetings for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of the minutes (i.e. formal decisions) of meetings. There has been no recording of Council meetings at Mornington Peninsula Shire.


In addition, Council’s ‘Recording of Council and Council Committee Meetings Policy’ applies, which specifies procedures for recording meetings. The policy provides:

“ Policy: 1. That any person who wishes to record the whole or part of the proceedings of any Council or Council Committee meeting first obtain permission from the meeting.

2. That this Policy shall not apply to Council staff recording the proceedings of meetings for the purpose of minute preparation.

Procedure: Any person wishing to record the whole or part of the proceedings of a meeting must, at the commencement of the meeting, request permission of the Chair of
their intention.

The Chair of the meeting will seek a decision from the meeting on the matter and advise the person of the decision.”

Audio Recording – Other Municipalities

Research of Council websites does not reveal large numbers of Councils audio recording and
distributing the proceedings of Council meetings.

The City of Frankston audio records its Council meetings and makes available, via CDs, the recordings of those meetings. The City of Frankston’s website has the following process available for requesting audio recordings of Council meetings on CDs.

“ Members of the public can request an audio recording of a Council meeting on CD. This new initiative is to increase the accessibility of Council meetings for those unable to attend in person.

Recordings of Council meetings will be retained for three months only.

On completion of the required details on the required form, a CD will be mailed to the person at the nominated address. Please allow up to ten working days for the CD to arrive.

Please note that the audio recordings do not constitute an official record of the meeting. The official record of a Council meeting is the Council meetings minutes, which can be accessed on Council’s website or upon request to Council’s Governance unit.”

If Council resolves to audio record Council meetings and determines to make these available to the public on request, then it is suggested that a similar process be followed.

Risk Management

Council’s insurers Liability Mutual Insurance advises that the following identified risks can occur by the provision of audio recording or web cast of Council meetings. Those issues include:

• Defamation:

- Council and Councillors may be liable for defamatory statements made by Councillors
and the public during a Council meeting. Council’s liability is increased if those
statements have a wider audience by distribution of audio recordings; and

- Defamation occurs when statements are made about a person, which causes injury to that
person’s reputation. A defamatory statement can be in written or in verbal form.

Note: Insurance cover under Council’s public liability/professional indemnity policy, and the Councillors and officers liability insurance may apply in relation to defamation, libel or slander. There are exclusions in both policies to claims if the comments were intentional, reckless, dishonest or malicious.

• Infringement of copyright:

- Infringement of copyright occurs when a person uses copyright material without the
consent of the owner and the use contravenes one or more of the exclusive rights of the
owner; and

- If someone at a Council meeting reads material subject to copyright, without the consent of the copyright owner, the person may have violated the copyright owner’s exclusive right to reproduce the material.

• Breach of privacy/disclosure of personal information:

- Councils are required to comply with the information privacy principles contained within the Information Privacy Act. Councils may be liable for breach of the privacy principles if Councillors or Council officers are found to have used or disclosed personal, health or sensitive information about individuals during the Council meeting, and that information is published.

Liability Mutual Insurance recommends that Council monitor and edit the content where required. This however may not meet Council’s aspirations if it determines to proceed with the distribution of audio recordings. It is pertinent to note however, that the distribution of audio recordings of Council meetings via CD, the internet or by any means, puts Council at increased risk in relation to possible claims for defamation, infringement of copyright, breach of privacy/disclosure of personal information
and publishing of offensive material.

Council meetings are an open forum of statements, questions and answers, and occasionally statements are made that may be regarded as offensive or defamatory. Those statements could also be challenged as being biased and fall within the apprehended bias rules that Councillors need to be mindful of in reaching their decisions. When such statements are made during a Council meeting, the potential for damage is confined to those people in attendance at the meeting. However, if a recording
of the meeting is available, the potential audience is larger, and this increases both the likelihood and the severity of potential liability.

Risk Management (Cont’d)

There could also be privacy issues associated with the publication of any recording of members of the public sitting in the gallery or making submissions.

Written consent may need to be obtained from all persons captured in the recording. This should not apply to the Mornington Peninsula Shire as this report considers only the audio recording of ordinary Council meetings and does not extend to Council’s other Special Committees. The major privacy issue relates to the Public Question Time segment, where the names of the people asking questions are disclosed and then published to a wider audience.

Distribution of Recordings

If Council resolves to proceed with the provision of making audio recordings available to members of the public, then it is suggested that a similar process to that being used at the City of Frankston be

Local Law Review

To ensure that the rights of individuals (including members of the public, Councillors and officers) are not compromised by the unauthorised recording of Council meetings, Committee meetings and
Assemblies of Councillors, it is proposed that Council meeting’s Local Law includes the following:

“ Unauthorised Recording of Council Meetings, Committee Meetings and Assemblies of Councillors

1.1 A person may, in accordance with any policy adopted and published by Council from
time to time, apply to the Chairperson of a Council Meeting, Committee Meeting or Assembly of Councillors, for permission to make an audio or video recording of the

1.2 The Chairperson may give permission with conditions or refuse to give permission.”

1.3 A person must not, without first obtaining the Chairperson’s permission under
sub-clause 2, and complying with any conditions imposed by the Chairperson under that sub-clause 2, make, or cause to be made, an audio or video recording of a meeting of:

(a) the Council; or (b) a Committee of Council; or (c) an Assembly of Councillors.

Penalty: 10 Penalty Units

1.4 If a person breaches sub-clause 3, and:

(a) discloses;(b) publishes;(c) otherwise conveys; and/or (d) permits or causes the disclosure, publication or conveyance of,
the information obtained in breach of sub-clause 3 of this Local Law, he or she will also be guilty of an offence under this sub-clause 4.

Penalty: 20 Penalty Units”


The cost of implementing such a recording system is estimated to be around $4,000-$5,000. This cost is essentially for the purchase of audio recording equipment, which automatically copies recorded audio from the hard disk drive of the equipment to a DVD/CD. Depending on the level of take-up
from the community, it is not considered that additional costs such as the purchase of compact discs or time taken to produce the discs and mailed to recipients will be onerous. No provision has been made in the current Budget for such an expenditure, but if Council is to resolve that this should occur, it could be funded as an over expenditure of the Budget.

Other Matters

If Council is to proceed with the recording of Council meetings and making those recording available for public distribution, appropriate signage would need to be placed at each Council meeting, and an advice placed in each agenda advising of the recording and subsequent distribution of the proceedings of the meeting.

Public Question Time

Some attendees at Council meetings have expressed concern that their questions have not been accurately answered, or accurately recorded in the minutes of the meeting (i.e. minutes do not reflect every word said in response by the Mayor/Councillors or officers).

Receiving a number of questions quite literally as the meeting commences, with no time to prepare an appropriate response, will almost certainly result in incomplete and inaccurate responses which could only be avoided by taking most questions on notice, which will frustrate community members seeking an immediate ‘on-the-spot’ response.

The Public Question Time segment guidelines clearly indicate that questions are without notice and responses are general in nature.

To overcome the concerns raised in relation to the segment, it is proposed that public questions be lodged at least 15 minutes prior to the Council meeting. It is also proposed that the Public Question Time segment occur later in the meeting at a suitable opportunity after the first two or three business items have been considered.

This approach will allow improvements in the process, including:

• Assessing whether the question is in accordance with the guidelines, such as no longer than 50 words, is within Council’s powers, is relevant, is not defamatory, etc.;

• Provides officers with some time to consider the question and provide an enhanced response;and

• Provides the questioner with a more thorough response;

If the question requires research then it will be taken on notice and a written response provided to the questioner (as is currently the case).


No person involved in the preparation of this report has a direct or indirect interest requiring


The audio recording and subsequent distribution of the proceedings of Council meetings is a matter for Council to determine. It is reiterated however, that the recording of meetings does not constitute an official record of decisions of the meeting. The official record of a Council meeting is the resolutions of the Council, with the minutes confirmed at the next available meeting of the Council.

Apart from the requests by two or three regular attendees at Council meetings, there seems little to be gained by the audio recording and subsequent distribution to the public of the proceedings of Council meetings. Councillors will need to consider the issue of their comments being taken out of context and the increased possibility of either a member of the community or a Councillor pursuing an action against the Council, Councillor or an officer.

Council should also consider the inclusion of Clauses in the Local Law which prohibits the unauthorised recordings of Council and Committee meetings and Assemblies of Councillors.

With regard to the Public Question Time segment, regardless of Council’s decision in relation to the audio recording of Council meetings, the suggested changes will see improved responses on the issues


1. That Council determines on the audio recording of Council Meetings and associated

2. That Council amends the Public Question Time segment to require questions to be
lodged 15 minutes before the commencement of the meeting, and the segment to be
held at an appropriate time during the meeting to allow additional time to consider
responses to the questions.

3. That the review of the Local Laws currently in progress considers Clauses relating to unauthorised recording of Council Meetings, Committee meetings and
Assemblies of Councillors.

Win #1 Transparency/Accountability:

Finally after many years of “harassment” by Ratepayers and Residents, TheCouncil had no option (election year) but to allow recording of council meetings to document who said what. No more “I didn’t say that” or “you took it out of context”. This was fought tooth and nail with some councillor hold outs until it was obvious they could not stop it and then changed their vote at the last minute and gave great speeches in support of it.. Talk about Duplicity and Moral Character.

The vote was by division so we even get to know who voted for what. Notice that GIBB still spoke against transparency and voted against it. I had a meeting with GIBB once and when I started to record it he went ballistic and for good reason. He would have been held accountable for what he said.

VOTE BY DIVISION (Requested by Cr. Pittock)
For: Cr. Bowden, Cr. Celi, Cr. Colomb, Cr. Eustace, Cr. Martin. Cr. Pittock, Cr. Rodgers, Cr. Shaw and Cr. Smith
Against: Cr. Gibb

Saturday, February 13, 2010

???? Should the Councillors have KPI’s ????

Why should they not is the bigger question!! KPI (key performance indicators) set a standard of excellence that one can be measured by.

It is extremely important that Councillors have KPI’s and being as we elect them it is us who should set them. Then when the election is about we will have an accurate measurement of their performance and not just a bunch of rhetoric of what great things they are going to do.

We have failed as ratepayers to exert our democratic rights and to tell those who we elect exactly what we expect of them.

So if you have a comment on the issue of Councillor KPI's or what the KPI's should be: have your say here.

Monday, November 30, 2009

CEO KPI: New Items

This Particular post is where to comment on other KPI should be developed for the CEO.

For comments on Current KPI items see each post identifying a specific category.

CEO KPI: Professional Development:

Takes all steps necessary to:

• Maintain a appreciation of the external community/political environment and emerging issues that may impact on Council policy/Strategy development or service deliver

• Maintain an awareness/appreciation of relevant developments in leadership/management thinking

• Embrace every opportunity for personal and/or organizational development, including welcoming the ideas and thinking of Council and when appropriate, other parties

CEO KPI: Reporting Process:

• Reports monthly to Council and the community on all of the activities of the Shire, in a formal agreed to by Council

• Strives to ensure that reports to Council are timely, accurate and comprehensive, whilst identifying critical issues for consideration by Council

• Updates Council on issues of importance, in a timely basis, as and when appropriate

CEO KPI: Risk Management:

Seeks to ensure that all risks, financial and non-financial, whilst not entirely avoidable, are minimized, including:

• Ensuring a whole-of-organization appreciation of the need to identify and address risk management as a responsibility of every director, manager, team leader, and team member

• Ensuring Council’s risk management focus is embraced by all contracted organizations and individuals

• Ensuring that the physical and financial risks in public liability, occupational health and safety, and other risk categories are addressed both strategically an operationally

• Seeking to ensure compliance with all relevant legislation

• Ensuring audit processes identify and respond to all financial and non-financial risk exposures

CEO KPI: Financial Management:

• Ensures the budget preparation process reflect Council’s policy/strategy objectives and priorities as set out in Council’s Community Plan and other approved policies and strategies.

• Ensures optimal use is made of community funds and resources, including indentifying and elimination of waste, and opportunities for cost-saving

• Ensures ongoing management of performance against budget, whilst addressing unexpected needs or circumstances when the arrive

• Ensures financial performance is reported regularly (monthly) to Council and that and adverse trends are identified and auctioned.

CEO KPI: Policy Implementation, Service Delivery/Responsiveness:

• Ensures that systems and procedures are in place to implement Council policies/strategies on a timely, responsible and cost-effective basis including Council’s capital works program

• Ensures that contractual relationships reflect council’s intended service delivery expectations and provide mechanisms to ensure the achievement of Council’s specified objectives

• Ensure that systems and processes are in place to respond effectively to service requests, telephone contact, and correspondence, within agreed timelines

• Ensures that service delivery standards and methods are under continuous review and are adapted to changing community needs and expectation (e.g. use of electronic technology where it enhances service delivery/availability

CEO KPI: Policy/strategy Development:

• Develops and maintains a policy framework/methodology which addresses social, economic and environmental objectives in a connected, joined up way, consistent with council’s Commitment to a sustainable Peninsula

• Ensures that policy/strategy development is objective, evidence based, rigorous and equitable, whilst responding to the varied needs and circumstances of the Peninsula’s diverse communities

• Strives to be strategically far sighted in early identification of, and response to, emerging policy issues (e.g. climate change, early years development)

CEO KPI: Organizational Leadership:

• Creates and sustains an organizational culture focused on

o Shared commitment to serving the community
o Innovation and continuous improvement
o Valuing the contribution of every team member regardless of “rank”
o Optimizing individual and (more importantly) collective organizational performance
o Striving to see each issue as the community sees it

• In an environment of ageing workforce and potential skills shortages

o Understands contemporary recruitment, development and retention issues and develops and implements a long-term human resources/organization development strategy which addresses the shire’s immediate and long term needs (e.g. traineeships, professional development, retention strategies, succession planning, etc.)

• Address the health and well-being needs of the Shire’s organizational team, recognizing that tin a large and diverse workforce, striving to meet the community’s high expectations, that pressures, conflicts, and tensions will arise, working strategically to minimize their incidence, and to address issues when the do arise

CEO KPI: Council/Organization Governance/Process:

Recognizing that:

Council has significant policy-forming and decision-making responsibilities across a very wide range of complex policy issues Council is committed to a well informed, collegiate, consensus-focused approach, and to open, transparent decision-making
Councilors’ time is a scarce resource

• Provides processes to facilitate a positive, mutually supportive working relationship within Council and between Council and the Shire organizational team

• Ensures that reports, briefings and presentations to council are well focused, timely and appropriately comprehensive

• Ensures councillors are alerted to issues of importance, of a political, strategic, or more immediate or local nature, at whole of Council or individual ward/local levis, as they arise, as appropriate

• Ensures the organizational team is responsive to requests from councillors for information or assistance

• Provides pragmatic , workable solutions for Council to facilitate policy/strategy implementation that response to local community needs

CEO KPI: Government/Stakeholder Relations Advocacy:

As council’s principal advisor and champion of Council’s policy and service delivery objectives, the CEO will lead and guide advocacy with governments, their agencies and other stakeholders to secure policy support and financial support for Council’s objectives. This requires that the CEO:

• Develops and maintains effective working relationships at political and bureaucratic levels with all relevant ministries and departments

• Actively contributes to sector-wide peak bodies (MAV, Interface, etc.) in advocacy and policy development

• Develops and maintains effective working relationship with local, State, and Federal MP’s and

• Develops and maintains effective working relationships with relevant agencies, utilities, industry organizations, etc. (Melbourne Water, Vitoria Police) and advocates on Council’s behalf to achieve Council’s intended outcomes whenever possible

CEO KPI: Community Relations and Engagement:

As Council’s principal advisor, and as champion of Council’s policy and service delivery objectives, the CEO will lead and guide the Shire’s engagement with the Mornington Peninsula’s diverse communities so that Council policy/strategy development reflects an understanding of community needs, expectations and priorities, and is seen to do so. This requires that the CEO:

• Creates processes/opportunities for engagement with the community:

o At a “whole of Peninsula” and local level
o At a strategic and more operational level
o With resident. Business, environmental and other interest groups, and
o At council’s initiative and in response to community requests

• Ensures open responsive working relationships with all resident interest groups, so that “shared focus on shared goals” is achieved wherever possible and

• Ensures that Council communicates as effectively as possible what it is doing and why it is doing it, recognizing the challenge of achieving engagement with the less interested as well as the most interested

Thursday, November 26, 2009

TheShire Website

The Mornington Peninsula WebSite has a wealth of general and resource information available.

Unfortunately, sometimes it is hard to find the information you are looking for.

Word on "TheStreet" is that this site will be redesigned sometime in the near (a couple of years?) future.

As you are looking at the site post any suggestions on how to make it a better site here and i will make sure it gets passed on the the "right" people.

Please provide contact details so you can be contacted.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Pretty much what the title says.

Goes into specific area.

Don't see any thing on how to handle underage drinking which is a big problem. if this one were "nipped in the bud" it would go a long way in preventing problems in the future.


This local law covers a lot of issues and rules concerning the auxiliary uses of streets and roads and covers many diverse subjects such as:
  • Advertising Signs (including real estate)
  • Trading from A Road
  • Street Parties, Festivals and Processions
  • Shopping Trolleys
  • Livestock on Roads and Horses On Reservations
  • Activities on Footpaths, including Shopping Precinct

Worth a look with maybe some interesting comments to be made where the subject matter is of interest to you.

Again, the "devil is in the details" of the supporting policies.


Deals with Policies and Procedures at Municipality Libraries (just like it says).

Pretty straightforward and to the point.


This particular law deals with the conduct and rules and guidelines for Hire and Use of Public Facilities within the Shire. It also purports to deal with "quality of life" issues and nuisance behaviour.

It deals with Buildings, Swimming Pools and Recreation Centers, Pedestrian Malls, Reserves, Municipal Land, Smoking Issues and many other administrative issues surrounding these subjects.

It is worth a look especially to those who use the Public Facilities covered in this document.


This is a very interesting law and deals with a whole raft of diverse issues that affect us on a day to day basis.

the topics range from dangerous land, junk cars, burning off, animal noise, camping, animals and birds, penalties for infringement, disposal of waste. drainage, open air markets just to touch on a few.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


This law deals primarily with the rules under which the council operates, and for the most part is procedural.

However it is worth a look as these rules establish how meetings are conducted and what rights ratepayers have in meetings.


The council is currently reviewing the local laws for revision and this is your chance to review these laws which directly affect you and have an input. These laws were last reviewed and approved in 2005.

Believe it or not there are only 6 local laws to review.

Local Law # 1: Council

Local Law #2: Environment

Local Law #3: Municipal Places

Local Law #4: Municipal Libraries

Local Law #5: Streets and roads

Local Law #6: Consumption of Liquor and Behaviour in Public Places

Whilst the Local law may look rather simple on the surface, it is in the policies supporting these laws where you will find the "devil in the details": So, it is best to review specific policies to see what is really going on.

I will be posting a section on each local law as i review them and you can add your comments. i will compile these comments and provide them to council at the appropriate time during the review process.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Swimming in Debt @ the Rosebud Pool: Desirable, yes ..... but Affordable?

This is a suggested post by a follower of MornPenCouncilWatch:

I am concerned that the SPA project being pushed by the MornPen Shire is simply not affordable.

I agree that such a facility would be a major benefit for the Rosebud Community but with current Shire Borrowings this project cannot be funded without huge borrowings. The State and Federal governments may chip in $5m but where is the other approximate $15m coming from? Maybe Mr. Hunt and Mr. Dixon could get more $$$ allocated to this project being as they are pushing hard for it.

Current Shire liabilities of $42M (probably more now with additional borrowings) means that we cannot afford such a luxury. To obtain moneys from rates would see immoral percentage increases that would simply not be acceptable to ratepayers.

How much is operating this facility going to cost? Based on Pelican Pantry at Hastings, one can suggest this facility is not going to come cheap. Are we ratepayers ready to dig deep?

It would appear from the form letter being pushed by the Shire that the
Only question is where should it be located. The Shire appears to be pushing for the Rosebud foreshore but I would conclude this is not feasible due to the necessary infrastructure needs (car parking, etc) that such a facility would require and lack of DSE approval. We already give up huge chunks of foreshore land to tourists camping for several months a year at great pain and cost to us locals.

To argue that there used to be a pool at the foreshore site is fair but the SPA project isn't just about a pool. Also, why was the old pool removed? Simple answer is that it suffered major defects due to the location and now the Shire talks about putting a huge development on the same location.

If the project was to proceed, it should not be built in a location where Climate Change pressures will be most apparent. If the project is such a goer, then having SPA located off the foreshore should not be a hindrance to attracting the people to the place.

We ratepayers need to know at what initial cost and ongoing operational and loan interest costs this service/facility is going to be. There is $400K allocated in the coming budget for proposed SPA planning work and one should question whether this money will be well spent based on the questionable ability to fund the total project years down the track.

I would like a luxury motor vehicle and a magnificent mansion but if I can't afford it, I can't have it. SPA is in this same category.

What do other ratepayers think? Do the MornPen Shire need to be told by Ratepayers to back-off.

Absurdities and other Stupidities

There are many issues with how things are done and some of the stupidities surrounding some decisions.

Currently the shire is going through a law review and this is a chance to make comments on stupid laws and decisions made in the past.

There will be public submissions on the law review so make sure you get involved.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


The shire tells us over and over and again and again about how transparent they are.

Here is a chance to have your say both positive and negative.

Be specific where possible.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Community Plan: #5 being Responsive, Accountable, and Forward Looking

We embrace the principles of continuous improvement and best practice to ensure that we deliver reliable, efficient and effective services to the community. We achieve this through responsible financial management, effective advocacy and engagement, and by highly valuing our people.

Our steps include:

  • Regularly engaging the community in diverse and innovative ways
  • Persistently and effectively advocating on issues of community importance
  • Ensuring we do everything we do, the best way it an be done
  • managing our finances and risk in a responsible (and responsive) way

Friday, June 19, 2009

Budget Comments

Give us your comments on the budgeting process for MornPen.

Site any specific information where appropriate.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chief Executive Contract

When Dr. Kennedy's last contract was renewed there was quite a roar about it.

The question is why:
  • Was it because of lack of consultation?
  • Was it because of job performance?

The issue then becomes:

  • What do we expect when the next CEO contract is up for renewal?
  • What should we be looking for in a CEO?
  • Who should be part of the Selection Process?