Gympie council CEO Bernard Smith says he does not veto submissions from councillor to be raised at council meetings, except for on one occasion where the councillor’s notified motion was removed because it was a conflict of interest for that councillor.
Gympie council CEO Bernard Smith says he does not veto submissions from councillor to be raised at council meetings, except for on one occasion where the councillor’s notified motion was removed because it was a conflict of interest for that councillor.

Vetting councillor motions would breach code of ethics: CEO

GYMPIE Regional Council CEO Bernard Smith has strenuously rejected the assertion that under new standing orders introduced to the council in 2016, he was given the authority to veto proposed items of "general business" submitted by elected councillors.

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Councillors Bob Leitch, Mal Gear, Dan Stewart, Mick Curran Mark McDonald, Daryl Dodt and Bernard Smith.
Councillors Bob Leitch, Mal Gear, Dan Stewart, Mick Curran Mark McDonald, Daryl Dodt and Bernard Smith.

The council's communications department yesterday issued this statement, at the invitation of The Gympie Times, to clarify the perception that items submitted for the agenda had to be approved by the CEO.

READ MORE: Councillor says 'bring back general business'

"Correction regarding Saturday's Gympie Times regarding the council's CEO ability to vet and approve notified motions put forward to council meetings by councillors:

CLICK HERE: Why the Gympie council should scrap the move the shut down free speech in council chambers

"The Gympie Regional Council CEO does not and cannot vet or dismiss any notified motions at council meetings put forward by councillors, contrary to information reported in The Gympie Times on Saturday, 22 February, 2020.

Gympie Council CEO Bernard Smith.
Gympie Council CEO Bernard Smith.

"CEO Bernard Smith stated that for him to withhold a notified motion or change a notified motion without the approval of the councillor putting it forward would amount to a breach of the code of conduct.

"Occasionally minor changes are made to a notified motion with the approval of the councillor to correct grammar or clarify the intent, however the CEO has no ability to interfere in the putting forward of a notified motion on a legitimate topic to do with the roles and responsibilities of the council under the act.

Gympie council CEO Bernard Smith and Glen Hartwig.
Gympie council CEO Bernard Smith and Glen Hartwig.

"In four years, there's only been one notified motion that has been removed as the motion was a conflict of interest for that councillor.

"It is important to remember that it is a decision of councillors to remove or introduce general business at council meetings, not the CEO, nor staff.

"Should the new council wish to reintroduce general business, this is what will happen."

CEO Bernard Smith.
CEO Bernard Smith.
Gympie Times


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