City of Whittlesea residents are invited to have their say on Council’s updated Draft Governance Rules, which outline the way Council Meetings are conducted, decisions are made and communicated and elections of Mayor and Deputy Mayor will be managed when we return to elected officials.
Among the proposed changes to the rules, which were last updated in 2021, are provisions for virtual and hybrid meetings, clearer definitions of meeting roles, embedding the Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners and the introduction of a good governance diversity statement to open Council Meetings to replace the Lord’s Prayer.
Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson said that new provisions to the Local Government Act 2020 required Council Governance Rules to be updated to include procedures relating to virtual meetings, and this gave Council an opportunity to also look at other changes to further improve the rules.
“In keeping with our community-focused approach to genuine engagement these rules help demystify the Council Meeting process including opportunities for residents to participate in Council Meetings. We want to ensure our Meetings are accessible, inclusive and reflective of our diverse community,” Ms Wilson said.
“And we have simplified the way they are presented making sure they are user-friendly, written in plain English and easy to navigate.”
“One of the proposed changes relates to how we open our Council Meetings. In addition to the Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners we are proposing a good governance diversity statement that aligns to Council vision of A Place for All, to replace the prayer that is currently said at the beginning of Council Meetings.”
The proposed diversity statement is:
“At the City of Whittlesea, we are proud of our diversity and the many cultures, faiths and beliefs that make up our community. We strive to be an inclusive welcoming City that fosters participation, wellbeing and connection to each other and this land. We commit as a Council to making informed good decisions to benefit the people of the City of Whittlesea now and in the future to support our community’s vision of A Place For All.”
“We have consulted with the Whittlesea Interfaith Network on this proposed change and will continue to seek their input along with the broader community during the consultation period. “I encourage our residents to have a read of the draft rules and provide their feedback,” Ms Wilson said.
To have your say on the revised draft of the Governance Rules, visit engage.whittlesea.vic.gov.au until 21 August.