The Greens are moving to establish a citizen’s Question Time for Marrickville Council in an attempt to open up council more to citizens and improve accountability. The motion is for 30 minutes to be allocated for citizens to ask a question of elected Councillors on any issue relevant to Councillors, and provide a public forum for Councillors to respond.
“Clean politics can only be achieved by engaging citizens in council processes and providing them with the ability to hold Councillors to account and doing so in an open and transparent way,” said Greens Councillor Max Phillips.
“The aim of a Council Question Time is to increase public participation with the elected Council, to hold Councillors to account, and to increase the broader community’s voice in the Council chambers.”
“While citizens may currently address Council meetings on issues that are on already on the meeting business paper, there is no mechanism for other issues to be discussed at Council meetings.
“A Question Time would allow citizens to raise issues that are not being pursued by staff reports or by elected Councillors, seek a response in a public forum, and also raise issues that may not ordinarily get on an otherwise crowded agenda.
“I hope my fellow Councillors will embrace this enhancement to local democracy – at least on a trial basis.
“While this may present some challenges in how it is run, these can hopefully be dealt with by clear rules for interaction during a question time session.
“The aim is to increase public participation with council, particularly with elected Councillors, to hold elected Councillors to account, and to increase the broader community’s voice in the Council chambers.”
Notice of Motion
Question Time for Council
1) That a Question Time of 30 minutes be implemented at each Council meeting where residents can ask a question of Councillors on any issue relevant to Council, and Councillors can respond.
2) That a suitable system be implemented to ensure relevant questions and a fair allocation to members of the community.