Questions asked

I REFER to the City of Casey Council ‘Community News’ advertisement (News, 26 September), in particular to the new stipulation that public questions to be asked at council meetings must be submitted by 10am on the day before the meeting (usually on Monday) instead of the previous requirement of questions being submitted 10 minutes before the start of that meeting.
This new requirement was passed at the council meeting on 17 September, without any discussion, which implies that not one of the seven elected councillors present at that meeting appreciated the impact that this new ruling would have on concerned ratepayers and Council’s ability to maintain good governance.
Certainly, the agenda for council meetings is never available at the Cranbourne Customer Service Centre until 11am on the day (Monday) before the meeting so it is now impossible for a public question to be asked in regard to any item in that agenda before councillors discuss and (probably) pass any contentious item.
Councillors must appreciate the importance of residents/ratepayers being able to have questions asked, including those based on information which may not be known to councillors, before council commits itself to a specific course of action. Therefore, at the next council meeting, councillors must either rescind this change to the former policy or ensure that printed (hard) copies of every agenda for a council meeting are made available to members of the public by 10am on the Friday before the meeting.
Allan Tully,
Cranbourne East.