Please note:  These minutes are yet to be confirmed as a true record of proceedings

CITY OF BUSSELTON

MINUTES OF THE Policy and Legislation Committee MEETING HELD ON 8 December 2021

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ITEM NO.                                        SUBJECT                                                                                                                              PAGE NO.

1....... Declaration of Opening, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY and Announcement of Visitors. 2

2....... Attendance. 2

3....... Public Question Time. 2

4....... Disclosure Of Interests. 2

5....... Confirmation and Receipt Of Minutes. 2

5.1          Minutes of the Policy and Legislation Committee Meeting held 27 October 2021. 2

6....... Reports. 3

6.1          PROPOSED COMMITTEE MEETING DATES 2022. 3

6.2          COUNCIL POLICY REVIEW: RECORDING AND LIVESTREAMING OF COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS AND COMMUNITY ACCESS SESSIONS. 7

6.3          COUNCIL POLICY REVIEW: ELECTED MEMBER TRAINING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT  19

7....... General Discussion Items. 27

8....... Next Meeting Date. 27

9....... Closure. 27

 


Policy and Legislation Committee                                  2                                                               8 December 2021

MINUTES

 

MINUTES OF THE Policy and Legislation Committee HELD IN THE Committee Room, Administration Building, Southern Drive, Busselton, ON 8 December 2021 AT 9:45am.

 

1.               Declaration of Opening, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY and Announcement of Visitors

The Presiding Member opened the meeting at 9.45am.

 

2.               Attendance 

Presiding Member:

 

Members:

 

Cr Ross Paine

 

Cr Kate Cox

Cr Anne Ryan

Cr Jodie Richards

Cr Phill Cronin

 

Officers:

Mr Mike Archer, Chief Executive Officer

Ms Sarah Pierson, Acting Director, Finance and Corporate Services

Mrs Emma Heys, Governance Coordinator

Ms Melissa Egan, Governance Officer

    

Apologies:

 

Nil

 

3.               Public Question Time

Nil

 

4.               Disclosure Of Interests

Nil

 

5.               Confirmation and Receipt Of Minutes

5.1             Minutes of the Policy and Legislation Committee Meeting held 27 October 2021

Committee Decision

PL2112/431            Moved Councillor J Richards, seconded Councillor A Ryan

 

That the Minutes of the Policy and Legislation Committee Meeting held 27 October 2021 be confirmed as a true and correct record.

CARRIED 5/0

  


Policy and Legislation Committee                                  6                                                               8 December 2021

6.               Reports

6.1             PROPOSED COMMITTEE MEETING DATES 2022

STRATEGIC THEME

LEADERSHIP - A Council that connects with the community and is accountable in its decision making.

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

4.2 Deliver governance systems that facilitate open, ethical and transparent decision making.

SUBJECT INDEX

Committee Meetings

BUSINESS UNIT

Governance Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Governance Coordinator - Emma Heys

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Acting Director, Finance and Corporate Services - Sarah Pierson

NATURE OF DECISION

Executive: Substantial direction setting, including adopting budgets, strategies, plans and policies (excluding local planning policies); funding, donations and sponsorships; reviewing committee recommendations

VOTING REQUIREMENT

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS

Nil

 

The officer recommendation was moved and carried.

 

Committee Recommendation

PL2112/432            Moved Councillor A Ryan, seconded Councillor P Cronin

 

That the Policy and Legislation Committee adopts the following Committee meeting dates for the 2022 calendar year:

·      Tuesday 25 January 2022

·      Wednesday 23 February 2022

·      Wednesday 23 March 2022

·      Wednesday 27 April 2022

·      Wednesday 25 May 2022

·      Wednesday 22 June 2022

·      Wednesday 27 July 2022

·      Tuesday 23 August 2022

·      Wednesday 28 September 2022

·      Wednesday 26 October 2022

·      Wednesday 14 December 2022

CARRIED 5/0

 


 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Policy and Legislation Committee adopts the following Committee meeting dates for the 2022 calendar year:

·        Tuesday 25 January 2022

·        Wednesday 23 February 2022

·        Wednesday 23 March 2022

·        Wednesday 27 April 2022

·        Wednesday 25 May 2022

·        Wednesday 22 June 2022

·        Wednesday 27 July 2022

·        Tuesday 23 August 2022

·        Wednesday 28 September 2022

·        Wednesday 26 October 2022

·        Wednesday 14 December 2022

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report is presented to the Policy and Legislation Committee to enable the Committee to endorse its meeting dates for the 2022 calendar year.

 

BACKGROUND

The Council of the City of Busselton has established a standing committee known as the Policy and Legislation Committee (the Committee) pursuant to section 5.8 of the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act).

 

The Committee is established for the purpose of assisting Council to fulfil its role under section 2.7(2)(b) of the Act, namely to determine the local government’s policies and its legislative function in accordance with Division 2 of Part 3 of the Act.

 

Under its terms of reference, the Committee must meet at least six times per year. Further to a resolution made in October 2015, the Committee has been meeting on a monthly basis and the meeting schedule has been prepared accordingly. In October 2019, Councillors indicated a preference for the Committee meetings be held on the same day as Council Meetings or Briefings, being a Wednesday. This arrangement has worked well, was continued throughout 2021, and it is recommended that it be continued for future meetings.

 

In September 2021, the terms of reference for the Committee were reviewed and endorsed by Council (C2109/201), including the addition of clause 7.1(a) which clarified that the Committee is delegated the power to schedule and endorse the dates, times and locations of the meetings held by the Committee.

 


 

OFFICER COMMENT

It is proposed that the meetings of the Committee be held on the fourth week of each month, at 10.00am, in the Wonnerup Committee Room, at the City of Busselton Administration Building.

 

The first Committee meeting for 2022 will be held on Tuesday 25 January, as the Australia Day public holiday is on Wednesday 26 January 2022.

 

Due to statutory reporting timelines applicable to the Finance Committee, the City’s meeting schedules will require a Finance Committee meeting to be held on 20 July 2022. A Policy and Legislation Committee meeting will therefore be scheduled on the following week, on Wednesday 27 July 2022.

 

To accommodate the CinefestOZ Film Festival, which is customarily held during the fourth week of August, and has its opening night on the Wednesday, the Ordinary Council meeting will be held for this week on the Tuesday. Accordingly, the Policy and Legislation Committee meeting will be scheduled for Tuesday 23 August 2022.

 

Again, to accommodate statutory timelines in relation to financial reporting, two Finance Committee meetings will be held in November, therefore a Policy and Legislation Committee meeting will not be held in November, instead it will be scheduled for 14 December 2022. The reports from this meeting will be considered at the first Ordinary Council Meeting in January 2023. If any matters arise in this period that require urgent consideration, the item may be placed directly on the Agenda of the next practicable Ordinary Meeting of Council.

 

In accordance with regulation 12 of the Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996, if a committee meeting is open to the public or proposed to be open to the public, the local government must give public notice of the dates, times and place at which the committee meetings are to be held in the next 12 months. Once endorsed by the Committee, the meeting dates will be publicly advertised.

 

It is proposed that the Committee meetings for 2022 be held at 10.00am, in the Wonnerup Committee Room, at the City of Busselton Administration Building.

 

Statutory Environment

The legislation relevant to this report is:

·        Local Government Act 1995

·        Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996

 

Relevant Plans and Policies

There are no relevant plans or policies to consider in relation to this matter.

 

Financial Implications

There are no financial implications associated with the officer recommendation.

 

Stakeholder Consultation

No external stakeholder consultation was required or undertaken in relation to this matter.

 

Risk Assessment

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the officer recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk management framework, with risks assessed taking into account any controls already in place. No risks of a medium or greater level have been identified.

Options

As an alternative to the officer recommendation, the Committee could propose different dates or times for its meetings to be held.

 

CONCLUSION

The proposed dates of Committee meetings to be held in 2022 are presented to the Committee for endorsement.  Regulation 12 of the Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996 requires the City to give notice of the dates of its committee meetings that are open, or proposed to be open, to the public. Once endorsed by the Committee, the 2022 meeting dates, times and location will be publicly advertised in accordance with the Regulations.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

The schedule of the Committee 2022 meetings will be advertised and published prior to the end of 2021.

 


Policy and Legislation Committee                                  8                                                               8 December 2021

6.2             COUNCIL POLICY REVIEW: RECORDING AND LIVESTREAMING OF COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS AND COMMUNITY ACCESS SESSIONS

STRATEGIC THEME

LEADERSHIP - A Council that connects with the community and is accountable in its decision making.

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

4.1 Provide opportunities for the community to engage with Council and contribute to decision making.

SUBJECT INDEX

Decision Making Processes

BUSINESS UNIT

Governance Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Governance Coordinator - Emma Heys

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Acting Director, Finance and Corporate Services - Sarah Pierson

NATURE OF DECISION

Executive: Substantial direction setting, including adopting budgets, strategies, plans and policies (excluding local planning policies); funding, donations and sponsorships; reviewing committee recommendations

VOTING REQUIREMENT

Simple Majority

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment a   Proposed Amended Council Policy: Recording and Livestreaming of Council Meetings and Community Access Sessions (Tracked)

Attachment b    Proposed Amended Council Policy: Recording and Livestreaming of Council Meetings and Community Access Sessions (Clean)

Attachment c    Current Policy: Recording and Livestreaming of Council Meetings  

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council adopt the amended Council policy: Recording and Livestreaming of Council Meetings and Community Access Sessions (the Policy) (Attachment A) to replace the current policy (Attachment C).

LAPSED

FOR WANT OF A MOVER

 

The officer recommendation lapsed for want of a mover and an alternative motion was moved and carried.

 

Committee Recommendation

PL2112/433            Moved Councillor R Paine, seconded Councillor P Cronin

 

That the Council do not adopt the amended Council policy at this time and request the CEO to return this item for discussion at the Policy and Legislation Committee meeting in February 2022.

CARRIED 5/0

Reasons:  The Committee recommended further consideration of the parameters and consequences of recording Community Access Sessions and the CEO bring this information to be considered as a general discussion item at a future Policy and Legislation Committee meeting.

 


 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report presents an amended Council policy: Recording and Livestreaming of Council Meetings and Community Access Sessions (the Policy) (Attachment A); amended to incorporate provisions around the audio recording of Community Access Sessions and to increase the time that recordings of Council Meetings are available publicly.  Officers recommend it replace the current policy (Attachment C).

 

BACKGROUND

The Policy was originally adopted by Council at its Ordinary Meeting on 11 June 2019 (C1906/108), following a request from a member of the public for a copy of a recording of an Ordinary Council Meeting, and pursuant to advice from the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA). The review of the policy also considered the recommendations of Mr John Woodhouse’s Review of the City of Busselton Governance Systems and Processes conducted in 2017.

 

The City’s Standing Orders Local Law 2018 (Standing Orders) provides for the Chief Executive Officer to audio record meetings for the purpose of taking minutes. Any such recordings are considered a record under the State Records Act 2000 and are required to be retained for one year after the minutes are confirmed.

 

During COVID-19 restrictions at the start of 2020, which limited attendance at Council meetings, the City implemented a process to facilitate remote public access by livestreaming the meetings. Following a briefing to Council on 14 October 2020, officers prepared revisions to the Policy that extended the scope of the Policy to include video recordings and livestreaming of meetings, with the renaming of the Policy to reflect this extension of its scope. The revised Policy was adopted by Council on 11 November 2021 (C2011/001).

 

OFFICER COMMENT

With increased requests received from members of the public, and a preference indicated by Councillors for more community transparency and engagement, the City’s Community Access Sessions have recently been recorded (audio only) and a link to the recording added to the City’s website. Accordingly officers have proposed amendments to the Policy to provide guidance for this practice.

 

A Community Access Session (CAS) is a more informal forum than a Council meeting and its purpose is to provide a means for the community to present any ideas or ask any questions of Council. There are no decisions made at a CAS and there is no requirement for the CAS to be minuted in any way of recorded. However, there is a growing expectation that the public may access and view a CAS without being in physical attendance, and Council has indicated they are prepared to facilitate this access.

 

In recommending the Policy amendments to incorporate this officers do have some reservations, and raise them for Council to mindful of.  To assist in mitigating some of the concerns, the Policy sets out that, at the discretion of the CEO, CAS may not be recorded in certain circumstances.

 


 

Informal Forum

Primarily officers are concerned that the public recording of CAS may deter some members of the community from attending CAS and using the forum to discuss issues with Councillors.  Officers are also concerned that it may inhibit free discussion. CAS play an important role as a forum for members of the public to speak freely and without concern that their statements can be used against them at a later time.

 

It is recommended that each member of public who speaks at a CAS is made aware an audio recording is being made. Each person who speaks at a CAS should be given the opportunity to not be recorded and the recording should be ceased should they make that request.

 

Defamation

Section 9.57A of the Local Government Legislation Amendment Act 2019 (WA) encourages local governments to livestream its proceedings and provides statutory protection for the local government from defamation for publishing Council proceedings on its website. It does not appear that this protection would apply to CAS.  Additionally this protection does not extend to the individual who made the comment, however, this is no different to circumstances if the meeting is not broadcast, as it is still deemed to be a statement made in a public forum.

 

Recording

It is also important to emphasise that an audio recording should not be considered as the minutes or a formal record of a CAS. As noted above, the CAS is an informal community meeting and it should be clear that no decision-making takes place and statements made by a Councillor should not be construed as a decision of Council or create any expectation. This can be managed at an operational level with, for example, a written disclaimer on the City’s website which states that it is a broadcast only and not a formal record of the meeting. Councillors should however remain aware that their statements are being recorded and made public as an audio recording.

 

Statutory Environment

The audio recording of a CAS would be considered as a “record” under the State Records Act 2000, and that the publication and storage of the recording should be treated pursuant to the requirements of this Act.

 

Officers are comfortable, having received internal advice from the City’s Records officers, that the intention to retain the audio record in ECM, with a link to the recording available on the City’s website, provides sufficient access to, and storage of, the record to meet the requirements of the State Records Act. The file of the recording and its link will be removed or deleted in accordance with the guidelines of the State Records Office.

 

Relevant Plans and Policies

There are no relevant plans or policies to consider in relation to this matter.

 

Financial Implications

There are no financial implications associated with the officer recommendation.

 

Stakeholder Consultation

No external stakeholder consultation was required or undertaken in relation to this matter.

 

Risk Assessment

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the officer recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk management framework, with risks assessed taking into account any controls already in place. No risks of a medium or greater level have been identified., although officers have noted some concerns above.

Options

As an alternative to the proposed recommendation the Council could:

1.         Not adopt the amended Policy. If Council chooses to do this, officers will cease the practice of audio recording the CAS.

2.         Adopt the Policy with further amendments.

CONCLUSION

A revised Policy ‘Recording and Livestreaming of Council Meetings and Community Access Sessions’ is presented for Council’s approval.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

If endorsed, the Policy will be placed on the City’s website within one week of Council adoption and the practice continued at the start of the 2022 Community Access Sessions.  


Policy and Legislation Committee

11

8 December 2021

6.2

Attachment a

Proposed Amended Council Policy: Recording and Livestreaming of Council Meetings and Community Access Sessions (Tracked)

 




Policy and Legislation Committee

16

8 December 2021

6.2

Attachment b

Proposed Amended Council Policy: Recording and Livestreaming of Council Meetings and Community Access Sessions (Clean)

 




Policy and Legislation Committee

18

8 December 2021

6.2

Attachment c

Current Policy: Recording and Livestreaming of Council Meetings

 



Policy and Legislation Committee                                  20                                                             8 December 2021

10.11am:              At this time, Mr Archer left the meeting.

 

6.3             COUNCIL POLICY REVIEW: ELECTED MEMBER TRAINING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

STRATEGIC THEME

LEADERSHIP - A Council that connects with the community and is accountable in its decision making.

STRATEGIC PRIORITY

4.2 Deliver governance systems that facilitate open, ethical and transparent decision making.

SUBJECT INDEX

Council Policies

BUSINESS UNIT

Governance Services

REPORTING OFFICER

Governance Coordinator - Emma Heys

AUTHORISING OFFICER

Acting Director, Finance and Corporate Services - Sarah Pierson

NATURE OF DECISION

Executive: Substantial direction setting, including adopting budgets, strategies, plans and policies (excluding local planning policies); funding, donations and sponsorships; reviewing committee recommendations

VOTING REQUIREMENT

Absolute Majority

ATTACHMENTS

Attachment a   Amended Council Policy Final

Attachment b    Amended Council Policy Changes Tracked  

 

The officer recommendation was moved and carried.

 

Committee Recommendation

PL2112/434            Moved Councillor R Paine, seconded Councillor K Cox

 

That the Council adopt the amended Council policy: Elected Member Training and Professional Development (the Policy) (Attachment A) to replace the current policy.

CARRIED 5/0

 

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

That the Council adopt the amended Council policy: Elected Member Training and Professional Development (the Policy) (Attachment A) to replace the current policy.

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report presents an amended Council policy: Elected Member Training and Professional Development (the Policy) (Attachment A). The Policy has been reviewed in accordance with section 5.128(5)(a) of the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act), which requires a council policy, in relation to the professional development of elected members, to be reviewed after each ordinary election. 

 

BACKGROUND

In accordance with section 5.128 of the Act, a local government is to prepare and adopt, by absolute majority, a policy in relation to the continuing professional development; and “…(5)(a) must review the policy after each ordinary election…”. The Policy was initially adopted in April 2017 as an amalgamation of two previous policies; 013 – ‘Specific Requirements for Development Opportunities involving significant Travel’ and 098 – ‘Councillors Induction, Training and Professional Development’.

 

The Policy was last reviewed in August 2020 as part of the City’s regular policy review cycle, with amendments made to include the provision of a fixed allowance of $3,000 per Elected Member per financial year and the provision for unspent funds from one year to be held in reserve and used in the following financial year, with no more than two financial years’ worth of the allowance to accrue.

OFFICER COMMENT

The 2021 Local Government Ordinary Election was held on Saturday 16 October and, in accordance with section 5.128(5)(a) of the Act, officers have reviewed the Policy, with only minor amendments proposed.

 

Paragraph 5.5 has been moved under Scope and is now paragraph 2.2.  Paragraph 5.5 (previously 5.6), which talks about mandatory training requirements, has been amended from “Elected Members may also be required…” to “Elected Members are required…”, to reflect the legislative requirement now set out in Regulations 35(2) and (3) of the Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996.

 

Other minor grammatical corrections and updates have been made for readability and the Review Frequency of the Policy has been amended to “After each Ordinary Election”.  A tracked changes version is available at Attachment B.

 

Statutory Environment

In accordance with section 2.7(2)(b) of the Local Government Act 1995, it is the role of the Council to determine the local government’s policies. The Council does this on recommendation of a committee it has established in accordance with section 5.8 of the Act.

 

Relevant Plans and Policies

The City has a policy framework which was developed and endorsed by Council in response to the recommendations of the Governance Services Review carried out in 2017.  The framework sets out the intent of Council policies, as opposed to operational documents such as staff management practices and operational practices.

 

Financial Implications

There are no financial implications associated with the officer recommendation.

 

Stakeholder Consultation

No external stakeholder consultation was required or undertaken in relation to this matter.

 

Risk Assessment

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the officer recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk management framework, with risks assessed taking into account any controls already in place. No risks of a medium or greater level have been identified.

Options

As an alternative to the proposed recommendation the Council could chose to not accept the proposed amendments, or to propose further amendments to the Policy.

CONCLUSION

Council policy: Elected Member Training and Professional Development has been reviewed in accordance with section 5.128(5)(a) of the Local Government Act 1995, with the Policy now being presented to Council for adoption.

 

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

The Policy will be place on the City’s website within one week of Council adoption.

 


Policy and Legislation Committee

22

8 December 2021

6.3

Attachment a

Amended Council Policy Final

 




Policy and Legislation Committee

26

8 December 2021

6.3

Attachment b

Amended Council Policy Changes Tracked

 



 


Policy and Legislation Committee                                  27                                                             8 December 2021

7.               General Discussion Items

Nil

 

8.               Next Meeting Date

Tuesday, 25 January 2022.

 

9.               Closure

The meeting closed at 10.15am.

 

 

 

 

THESE MINUTES CONSISTING OF PAGES 1 TO 27 WERE CONFIRMED AS A TRUE AND CORRECT RECORD ON  25 January 2022

DATE:_________________              PRESIDING MEMBER:_________________________