Council operations undergo change
AFTER months of dealing with red tape that tied the hands of councillors and staff, Gympie region Mayor Ron Dyne has had a win with the State Government.
Cr Dyne said Local Government minister Desley Boyle had “indicated”, in a letter, regulations would be changed so that council could work better.
New privacy laws had stopped council from releasing names in it’s agenda, of people wanting to implement wild dog baiting programs.
But after lobbying by council, the rules will be amended so council can once again “operate properly”.
“I think we’ve got a positive outcome,” Cr Dyne said.
“I think its great the government has listened to council and come up with a workable and realistic solution.”
The regulations meant this year the region’s wild dog program was scaled back in size and fewer dogs were baited.
That was because council wasn’t legally able to send out a list of names to community members who co-ordinated the program on the ground.
The co-ordinators usually notified landowners of baiting programs near their properties and gained their permission, after council gave them a list of people to contact. Without permission the program cannot be undertaken in some areas.
At a meeting in August, Councillors heard it would cost too much for council to notify everyone involved and gain permission.
In a Works and Services Committee meeting earlier this month Cr Dyne said the State Government should be congratulated and commended for moving so fast on the privacy issue.
And he said from next year the baiting program would run normally.
The outcome, however, did not mean people would be named by council when it was inappropriate.
Cr Dyne said residents who started petitions could once again be named in council agendas but those with outstanding rates payments would continue to remain anonymous.
He did say the issue of naming certain streets could once again be resolved – as back in the August meeting council had to move into committee to talk about a road re-alignment when naming the road could have lead to a letter writer’s identity.
At the time Cr Ian Petersen said he thought the rules were “ridiculous”.