The introduction of an acknowledgement of country at the start of each Bathurst Regional Council meeting will be a welcome change.
The acknowledgement had been included under a new Code of Meeting Practice adopted by councillors last week.
It will acknowledge that the council is meeting on traditional Wiradyuri land and will be read at the start of each meeting in conjunction with the prayer that has been retained by council even as other cities across the state have consigned it to the pages of history.
The ongoing debate over council's approval of a go kart track at the top of Mount Panorama has strained relations with the local indigenous community and so this is a timely step by the council as it continues down a path of reconciliation.
But the addition of an acknowledgement of country and the retention of the prayer were far from the most contentious areas as council worked through its new code of meeting practice.
Most of the public debate centred on proposed changes to the public forum at the start of the meeting, and particularly a move to limit the topics of discussions to matters included in the agenda for that night's meeting. It was a terrible proposal that should never have made it to the draft.
Those who regularly attend council meetings, while few in number, have seen a number of occasions where council policy has been shaped by the issues raised in the public forum well before those same items have made it onto the agenda.
The long fight for a roundabout at the intersection of Suttor, Lambert and Mitre streets, a master plan for Centennial Park and the plan to have the word "Bathurst" permanently in place on the side of Mount Panorama are just some of the local issues that could never had made it to square one under the proposed change.
As a community, we should all celebrate the proposal's defeat.
Also gone is the proposal to limit speakers in the public forum to just four minutes' speaking time instead of the five. That proposal was much less of a concern but any limits on public input should be opposed.
It's true that the public forum can be hijacked by residents seeking to grandstand on issues or personal rather than public interest, but that's the price we pay in a democracy. Much better to let the wrong people speak than have the right people silenced.