Council moves to open up more issues



MORE decisions made by Gladstone City Council will be scrutinised by the public, with a plan to bring more items from confidential into open meetings.

Residents and councillors have shown concern in the past about too many items being "hidden away'' in confidential sessions, unable to be heard by residents.

Councillor Matt Burnett has been one of the biggest advocates for items being heard in open session.

"The whole new structure is better for the Gladstone community,'' Cr Burnett said.

Cr Burnett said while some of the items, such as council staffing matters, would still have to stay confidential, other items come out into the open forum.

"It means the residents get to hear about an issue before a decision is made, so if they have any comments or concerns they can let council know,'' Cr Burnett said.

The changes will also mean the number of meetings where decisions are made increases.

Previously there were four committee meetings each month, but only one ordinary meeting where decisions were made.

There will now be two ordinary meetings and no committee meetings.

Confidential meetings would be run at the end of ordinary meetings.

Chief executive Julie Reitano said the changes would mean a better response time on issues.

"With only one meeting previously, it meant if a resident brought up an issue it could take a month before it was heard in the meeting,'' Ms Reitano said.

"Now there will be a more effective format with two meetings where decisions are made each month.''

Meetings will be on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at 1.30pm at the Gladstone City Council chambers.



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