AT last month’s Council meeting, it was decided Council would not advertise they were seeking community input for their operational plan and instead simply place a notice on their own website.
Kim Kennedy, a Scone resident who is keen to see improvements at the Bill Rose Complex and local parks said she is frustrated Council have made the information so difficult to access.
“I got a flyer in my mailbox saying the plan was out, it’s the first time I’ve actually received anything from Council, other than the rates,” she said.
“It said I could go to the Council building to view the plan, so I went down and they said while the plans were inside, I wasn’t allowed to go inside to view it because of the pandemic,” she said.
“Since last Tuesday, I’ve been asking Council for information and I eventually managed to find a big document full of text buried on their website, but it was incredibly difficult to find and I was actively looking for it,” she said.
“I still can’t get the information I want on the Bill Rose Complex, there are no visual pictures of their plans, nothing user friendly,” she said.
“How do they expect us to have input when they bury things and have decided not to advertise what is going on?” she questioned.
“I guess that is probably their aim and then they can come back later and say nobody provided feedback and then they just do what they want,” Kim Kennedy said.
At last month’s Council meeting, Cr Joshua Brown said, “the regulations as I understand it have changed to allow for public notification to take place by way of posting something on our website, so I would just change it so it reads, placement of a notice.”
The Office of Local Government, had sent a circular explaining it was not a legal requirement to place notices specifically in newspapers, as many towns no longer had newspapers.
scone.com.au contacted the Office of Local Government (OLG) and they explained it has not been a legal requirement to advertise in newspapers for a number of years, but advertising of public notices through all mediums was still considered best practice in proactively engaging the community.
The spokesperson from the OLG said the spirit of the notification process was to reach the community through the channels available locally, with posting a notice on Council’s own website the “bare minimum expected”.