In a first ever for the Coorong District council, questions will be taken from the public gallery during formal meetings

Coorong civic centre chambers in Tailem Bend. Photo: File.
Coorong civic centre chambers in Tailem Bend. Photo: File.

The Coorong District council will open up public question time as part of its formal meeting proceedings, with next month marking the first ever occasion for the council.

Mayor Paul Simmons will allow for 30 minutes of question time from the public gallery and said the new permanent feature would provide further community transparency and engagement on council business. 

A further change to council meetings will see the ordinary meetings shift to night time – commencing at 6pm from December 18 onwards on a six month trial. 

Council meetings will continue to be held on the third Tuesday of every month.

“Our vision for this council over the coming years, is to ensure community members can have more of a say on how decisions are made and how budgets are spent,” Mayor Simmons said. 

“The first step in making this happen is allowing them to gain an insight into the chamber each month and ask direct questions to the leadership group.

“Of course we want to continue encouraging all community members to contact council members and appropriate council officers as issues arise in the district.

“However, public question time will allow them a unique chance to raise their concerns with all of these people at once.”

Council’s chief executive officer Vincent Cammell also welcomed the move. 

“Public question time adds strength to our community engagement framework and can help provide clarity for people, on what may often seem like complex issues,” Mr Cammell said.

“There will likely be some challenging questions thrown at our leaders during these sessions, but that’s part of local government leadership, and I’m sure they’ll rise to the challenge.”