Redland City Council has been tardy in posting meeting minutes on its website. It took eight days to post the 18 October meeting minutes and 12 days for the 4 October meeting minutes to appear.
Who reads the meeting minutes?
For many years Redland City Council has done an excellent job of providing the minutes of formal meetings in a timely fashion.
Usually they have been posted on the Council’s website by the Friday afternoon, following a meeting on Wednesday morning (elapsed time 2 days).
Council meeting minutes are not usually riveting reading but they provide the community with useful information about matters which were discussed in formal council meetings.
Meeting minutes record which resolutions were passed, and how each councillor voted.
Who was there – and who was not?
The minutes also show which councillors were at the meeting and for how long.
Any councillor taking an early mark will have this fact recorded in painstaking detail.
For example, the minutes of the meeting on 18 October show that Cr Julie Talty left the meeting at 12:15 pm, though the meeting did not finish until 1:26 pm.
She had a state election campaign event in Loganholme commencing at 2:00 pm. Seems she may have considered this more important than her day job as a Redland City Councillor.
In case you have never read a set of council minutes, the 18 October minutes provide an example of how precisely attendance is recorded:
COUNCILLOR ABSENCES DURING THE MEETING
Cr Talty left the meeting at 9.36am (during Item 3) and returned at 9.39am (during Item 5)
Cr Talty left the meeting at 9.41am (during Item 6) and returned at 9.43am (during Item 8)
Cr Gollè left the meeting at 9.53am and returned at 9.57am (during Item 10.1.3)
Cr Williams left the meeting at 10.45am (Item 14.1) and returned at 11.58am (during closed session)
Cr Talty left the meeting at 11.31am and returned at 11.34am (during closed session)
Cr Gollè left the meeting at 11.29am and returned at 11.31am (during closed session)
Cr Gleeson left the meeting at 11.29am and returned at 11.31am (during closed session)
Cr Talty left the meeting at 11.40am and returned at 11.43am (during closed session)
Cr Talty left the meeting at 11.56am and returned at 11.58am (during closed session)
Cr Talty left the meeting at 12.07pm and returned at 12.08pm (during closed session)
Cr Edwards left the meeting at 12.08pm and returned at 12.11pm (during closed session)
Cr Talty left the meeting at 12.15pm (during closed session)
Cr Gleeson left the meeting at 12.16pm and returned at 12.33pm (during closed session)
Cr Williams left the meeting at 12.22pm and returned at returned at 12.23pm (during closed session)
Cr Elliott left the meeting at 12.24pm and returned at 12.26pm (during closed session)
Cr Gleeson left the meeting at 12.58pm and returned at 1.02pm (during closed session)
Why the delay?
Redlands2030 has asked the Council why it’s taking longer for the minutes to appear.
We were advised that the Council tries to get them done as soon as possible, but the statutory requirement is that they must be published on the website within 10 days of a meeting. That is calendar days, not business days.
So by not publishing the 4 October minutes until 16 October (elapsed time of 12 days) it seems that Redland City Council broke the law.
We wonder what the consequence should be of this legal non-compliance:
- Should the Council reprimand itself?
- Perhaps the Mayor should apologise to the community at a future council meeting.
Apparently, the answer is that a report must be submitted.
In the Council’s defence we can report that hard copies of the 4 October meeting minutes were available at Council business centres on Friday 13th October (elapsed time 10 days).
But the Local Government Regulation 2012 is quite clear. Regulation 272 (4) (a) says a copy of the minutes of each meeting must be available for inspection by the public, at a local government’s public office and on its website, within 10 days after the end of the meeting.
We hope that Council will soon revert to its previous, excellent, longstanding practice of publishing meeting minutes promptly, by Friday (elapsed time 2 days).
And if you want to read the minutes here are links to where you can find:
Redlands2030 – 26 October 2017