IN a move to give the community a greater voice through a dedicated question time, Mitchell Shire Council has renamed the hearing committee to the community questions and hearings committee to give emphasis to the community component of the meeting.
The decision for the change was made at the August meeting of council following a motion moved by Cr Annie Goble and seconded by Cr Fiona Stevens that council accept and act on an officer’s report on the idea that was first mooted at a council meeting earlier in the year.
At that meeting councillors were told that question time worked very well a few years back when it gave the community a sense of involvement and participation in council business.
“The community have been very vocal about the return of question time and I believe the reintroduction would demonstrate our new council's commitment to open communication and engagement with our shire's residents and ratepayers,” Cr Goble said at the time.
At the August meeting, Cr Goble welcomed the officer’s report that recommended that council adopt the revised community questions guidelines and that the ability for members of the public to ask questions at the community questions and hearing committee meeting is promoted.
“There is a need for more inclusion and the opportunity for the community to ask questions,” Cr Goble said.
“There must be a greater emphasis on community and the change of title of the meeting will emphasise this,” she added.