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Inner Western Courier Thursday Not Used Anymore : November 19th 2008
www.innerwestweekly.com.au THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2008 PHONE 9018 3592 80c incl. GST Time to stop the bluster FIONA BRADY AN Ashfield councillor is calling time on long-winded council meet- ings after one recent meeting lasted a marathon 91/2 hours. Two people waiting to hear development applications sat through the five-hour long October 14 meeting without hav- ing their matters considered. The meeting was adjourned un- til the following week when it continued for a further 41/2 hours. At last Tuesday's meeting, which again lasted five hours, Labor councillor Lucille McKenna proposed a notice of motion call- ing for time restrictions for speakers to be applied, except in exceptional circumstances. As part of her war on waffle, she proposed buying a clock that counts down the allowable speaker's time. ''I think that other councils have systems in place to control the amount of time we can spend and while I'm 100 per cent in favour of community participation, we had one lady that I think had seven extensions (of the three minutes' speaking time),'' Cr McKenna said, admitting councillors did not adhere to their time limits either. She said decision-making could be ''severely compromised'' be- cause of the length of meetings. ''When you've been at work all day, and from my point of view up at 6am, after a full day's work and go to council and do 51/2 hours of meetings, it is pushing the limit of one's ability to function at the best possible level,'' Cr McKenna said. But although councillors agreed to buy a timer, they rejected the motion to enforce the restrictions. Deputy mayor Morris Mansour said: ''It is very intimidating and restrictive and prohibitive, es- pecially for residents of non- English speaking backgrounds, they need all the time in the world.'' He agreed, however, that coun- cillors should ''lead by example'' and keep their speeches short and sweet. Ashfield was recently named as the state's slowest council to pro- cess development applications. CLOCK WATCHING A recent Strathfield Council meeting clocked in at 45 minutes Usually one for brief meetings, Burwood Council's latest one lasted 31/2 hours Canada Bay, also known for short meetings, discussed matters for three hours at its last meeting.
November 12th 2008
November 26th 2008