IF Bathurst Regional Council is holding a public forum, you can expect to see disability advocate Bob Triming in the front row, so the prospect of a second forum each month has his complete support.
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The idea has been raised by councillor Ian North, who wants to see the monthly policy committee meetings reinstated and a public forum added to the agenda.
It comes after council resolved to keep public forum speaking time to five minutes per person for its ordinary meetings on the third Wednesday of every month.
If Cr North can get policy committee meetings back on council's schedule, they would be held on the first Wednesday of the month.
The public forum at policy committee would be open to any topic, while the public forum at ordinary meetings would be altered to be aligned to just items in the business paper.
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It's a proposal Mr Triming fully supports and wants to see implemented.
"I totally agree that it would simplify things to have only representations on agenda items at the main general meeting where quite often solicitors, developers, interested property owners and other advocates are present to speak on agenda items," he said.
"Then this new proposal provides for an extra five minutes to speak before the policy meeting on all other issues is certainly a win-win for all."
There were rumblings of opposition from the public gallery when Cr North initially tried to raise the proposal at the August 17 meeting.
Mr Triming said that people should support what he is proposing, given they fought so hard to retain their five minutes to speak at public forums.
Depending on what they want to raise, this idea could double the amount of time available to speak to council each month.
"I am baffled as to why those who fought so brilliantly to keep speaking time to five minutes appear to not want a proposed ten minute speaking time spread over two meetings per month, before the councillors and senior staff and members of the media," he said.
"Perhaps one should ask why the public can no longer attend policy meetings, as we use to be able to do, especially as the new councillors were elected on a platform of increased and better communication?"
Council hasn't held a policy committee meeting in more than two years, with the meeting shelved as a result of COVID-19.
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