The Noosa Council is looking to open up meetings to a public question time.
The Noosa Council is looking to open up meetings to a public question time.

Chance to quiz councillors at main meetings

LOCALS will eventually be able to take Noosa councillors to task with the introduction of a public question time.

And the move now has the support of councillor Brian Stockwell, who said he was originally against the idea because he thought “it was going to be an ­avenue for putting out a soapbox for all the negative Nellies” to deliver some “bile”.

“I don’t think it will turn out to be that if we get the guidelines right,” Cr Stockwell said.

Cr Stockwell said he’d asked locals about how they would like to raise issues and was told by some a public question time was one desirable ave­nue if other approaches like emails failed.

“I think that’s where it will become powerful.”

He said question time could be used by people “who have gone through a process still unsatisfied and they’ve wanted to have that question put in a public forum so that those who make the decision are really aware of that concern”.

“To me it would make it quite an interesting process and one which gives an extra level of involvement of the community,” Cr Stockwell said.

A report from CEO Brett de Chastel successfully recommended to Thursday night’s ordinary meeting for the council’s new standing orders to include the provision for public question time.

Mr de Chastel said a public question time should be for raising genuine questions about a matter within the council’s jurisdiction, “escalating a question where there has not been a response from council regarding a matter previously lodged”.

“A public question time should not be for grandstanding, political point scoring, lodging initial customer requests, etc,” he added.

The CEO’s approved recommendations include recording the names of councillors and how they vote on all decisions made during the council’s ordinary and special meetings as of the September meeting.