Ombudsman’s report on Council agenda

Ombudsman's report

Redland City Council’s next general meeting will discuss a response to the Ombudsman’s report.

Overseas travel for the Mayor and responding to the Ombudsman’s report are on the agenda for Redland City Council at its meeting on Wednesday 7 June.

Mayor’s overseas travel

Councillors will be asked to give approval for Mayor Karen Williams to visit Singapore, Korea, China and Japan during the next few months.

This will involve a trip to Singapore in July and the other countries in September.

Responding to the Ombudsman’s Report

Council will also discuss a proposed policy on Legal Assistance for Council and Employees which has been developed in response to recommendations in the Queensland Ombudsman’s report: The Redland City Council Defamation Report.

This report, published on 5 January 2017, found that Redland City Council’s actions in threatening defamation proceedings against two residents were unreasonable and that Council’s actions in threatening to take defamation action against the complainants were:

  • based on a lack of clear analysis regarding who, if anybody, was defamed by the comments
  • not based on instructions from any of the allegedly defamed parties
  • not a reasonable or proportional response to what was relatively minor criticism of council’s decisions

The officers report to be considered at Council’s meeting five months later says:

The attached Policy clearly sets out the processes that must be followed in any future request by an employee or Councillor for funding of legal action occurring out of the course of their employment or role as a Councillor.

and

With the adoption of this Policy, Council can consider all matters regarding this Ombudsman Report finalised as it has actioned all of the relevant recommendations.

The officers report also refers to a petition about the Ombudsmans Report tabled on 19 April 2017 and says:

In finalising Council’s response to the Ombudsman Report, it is recommended that the CEO write to the petition co-ordinator to advise that the response has now been finalised as agreed with the Ombudsman.

In Ombudsman slams Redland City Council, Redlands2030 pointed out a number of matters raised in the Ombudsman’s report which councillors should be dealing with.

These included the need for accountability by those who acted unreasonably, supposedly on behalf of the Council.

We also called for councillors to consider if the Ombudsman’s recommendations have yet been complied with, and discuss if Council should go further and formally apologise to the residents who were sent threatening letters.

Delegating authority to the CEO to approve contracts for purchase of electricity

Council will be asked to delegate authority to the Chief Executive Officer to enter into electricity agreements over $2 million to a maximum of
$20 million.

The officers report says:

The fluctuating nature of the electricity market means that tendered tariffs are only available for Council acceptance for a matter of days hence the request to seek delegated authority for the Chief Executive Officer to commit Council to particular contracts.

Closed session items

In closed session, without public or media present, the council will discuss four items:

  • 16.1.1 Redland Investment Corporation Quarterly Report – March 2017
  • 16.2.1 Identilite agreement
  • 16.2.2 Marine Landing Facility Upgrade Macleay Island
  • 16.2.3 Tender consideration plan – Collection transport and processing of greenwaste from Redland City Council Waste Transfer Stations

Here is a link to the council webpage where you can download the 7 June meeting agenda.

Attending the meeting on 7 June

Members of the public can observe meeting proceedings from the public gallery (except for the closed session items).

The meeting will be held in the Council’s chambers in Bloomfield street commencing at 9:30 am.

Council’s previous meeting – on 24 May

At Council’s previous general meeting on 24 May two petitions were submitted:

  • For an outdoor cinema at Wellington point
  • For Council to reverse its decision to withdraw funding from the Donald Simpson Community Centre

Councillor Bishop gave a presentation about the National Integrity conference which he attended recently.

A number of items were discussed in closed session including:

  • 16.1.1 Council’s funding of its investment via Redland Investment Corporation in a development at Oakland Street in Alexandra Hills.
  • 16.2.1 South Thornlands economic analysis
  • 16.3.1 Acquisition to acquire land for road and footpath upgrade
  • 16.3.2 Purchase of land for sporting fields.

Three of the closed session items were carried unanimously. The only item where a split vote occurred was the South Thornlands Economic Analysis where a recommendation to adopt a confidential Rural Enterprise Industry Sector Strategy and Action Plan was approved 6/4

  • Crs Gollè, Edwards, Talty, Huges, Gleeson and Williams voted FOR the motion
  • Crs Boglary, Hewlett, Elliott and Bishop voted AGAINST the motion.
  • Cr Mitchell was absent from the meeting.

Here is a link to the 24 May meeting minutes and video recording.

Redlands2030 – 6 June 2017

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5 thoughts on “Ombudsman’s report on Council agenda

  1. Wow a paid trip to Singapore, Korea, Japan and China, so what’s in it for Redlands. After watching Four Corners Monday Night I was shocked at the large kick back some Pollies got from big Chinese developers. The Logan Council experience where a Chinese developer gives the Mayor towards his campaign about $500,000 and then within 12 months that same developer gets a huge financial windfall by getting an approval for a resort/units on the Logan River which is an absolute over development on the site. I am sure there are lots of families who would love to know their rates is paying for a great adventure for the Mayor

  2. ……… sadly our Mayor has turned into a Turnbull insofar as we thought she was going to be great but now we know better!

    Just what will she learn beneficial to the Redlands that can’t be gathered from the internet or phone conferences?

    No doubt she will take some hanger-ons and head nodders with her on this total waste of taxpayers money!

  3. Further to my comments on Mayor Williams’ travel to Asian countries, I’m reminded of her early visit on attaining mayoral position, traveling to China along with Lord Mayor, BCC, and others, that seemed to be a recruitment drive bringing in Chinese workers (ex-MP for Capalaba Michael Choi connections?) to be employed in Redland City. Will this also be a recruitment drive to add to the Redlands workforce? At the time, I asked Lord Mayor if he also recruited workers from China and his reply was ‘no’.

  4. It is presumed Council will add to the list of done actions some advice to the other community members assaulted by the rash defamation allegations launched last year. Only two people approached the Ombudsman but the other three seem entitled to an explanation and probably an apology.

    Come on councillors…do the right thing!

  5. Re Mayor Williams’ overseas travel in the near future to several countries that is expected to be at considerable expense to tax/ratepayers in Redland City where many residents today are struggling to make ends meet. Considering these tough times, will the Redlands community benefit from these excursions, and if so, in what way? Will a full report be available to we, the people, on mayor’s return to official duties?

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