THE rest of South Gippsland Shire’s open council meetings for 2021 will now start at 1 pm instead of 2 pm, beginning with this month’s March 2021 open meeting on Wednesday March 17.
The shire’s administration panel voted to amend the kick-off time for the March to December 2021 monthly council meetings by bringing it forward from 2 pm to 1 pm at the February 24, 2021 virtual open meeting.
The new start time also will apply to any delegated committee meetings and to other special meetings that may be deemed necessary to call during the course of this year.
All meetings will be held in the shire council chambers in Michael Place in Leongatha unless subsequent public health and safety requirements state otherwise.
The rationale behind earlier council meetings is, according to a report in the February 2021 minutes, to get councillors to “utilise the time [they] spend together on Council Meeting days more effectively and efficiently.
“The business of Council can be dealt with succinctly, allowing additional time at the end of each day for them to attend to their many after-hours community activities,” the report stated.
“It is Council’s intent to establish a new strategic framework for the way in which the business that comes to Council is managed,” the report continued.
“The Council Meeting framework is focusing on better ways to support the new Councillors to be successful in their roles and enable them to actively engage with their community.”
Local government elections to return nine councillors will be held in South Gippsland Shire on Saturday October 23, 2021, replacing the shire’s current three-member administration panel that was appointed by the Victorian Government in June 2019.
In the past the shire’s open monthly meetings were generally held on the fourth Wednesday of each month but a resolution at the December 2020 open meeting altered the schedule to the third Wednesday for the remainder of 2021.
Known exceptions to the new third Wednesday of the month convention so far include open meeting number 465 set for 1 pm on November 24, 2021 to allow for the Council elections on October 23, and the establishment of the new Council.
Three additional meetings will also be held outside the usual third-Wednesday-of-the-month “in order to expedite the business of Council, incorporating the Council budget deliberation processes.”
They are; meeting number 455 on Wednesday April 14, at 1 pm, meeting number 458 on Wednesday June 2, 2021 at 1 pm, and meeting number 459 on Wednesday June 9, 2021 at I pm.
The shire’s chief executive officer is authorised to change a meeting location if warranted, “due to the nature of business and availability of the Council Chambers; and/or responding to safety matters”.
The CEO must provide “reasonable notice to the public via Noticeboard and Council’s website should a change in Meeting time or location be warranted” and notice “as practicable” of “Additional Council Meetings [that] are called from time to time requiring decisions of Council outside the annual meeting schedule.”
New 2021 Shire meeting dates and times
- Wednesday March 17, 2021 at 1 pm (meeting number 454)
- Wednesday April 14, 2021 at 1 pm (meeting number 455)
- Wednesday April 21, 2021 at 1 pm (meeting number 456)
- Wednesday May 19, 2021 at 1 pm (meeting number 457)
- Wednesday June 2, 2021 at 1 pm (meeting number 458)
- Wednesday June 9, 2021 at 1 pm (meeting number 459)
- Wednesday June 16, 2021 at 1 pm (meeting number 460)
- Wednesday July 21, 2021 at 1 pm (meeting number 461)
- Wednesday August 18, 2021 at 1 pm (meeting number 462)
- Wednesday September 15, 2021 at 1 pm (meeting number 463)
- Wednesday October 20, 2021 at 1 pm (meeting number 464)
- Wednesday November 24, 2021 at 1 pm (meeting number 465) Wednesday December 15, 2021 at 1 pm (meeting number 466