If the number and type of motions is anything to go by, this year’s LGAQ Annual Conference promises to be one of the best shows in town. Several councils have taken the opportunity to announce to local media the policy reforms they will be asking conference delegates to endorse when it convenes in Mackay in the last week of October. As of today, more than 60 conference motions have been lodged by councils across the state on matters varying from planning reforms to dangerous dogs. Douglas Shire Council, for example will call on the conference to endorse a proposed change in the Animal Protection Act to make it easier for councils to dispose of seized dogs. Mayor Julia Leu told the ABC that the councils is spending thousands of dollars on housing seized dogs while appeals are being heard. Cassowary Coast Regional Council plans to put a similar motion to the conference.
Delegates from Livingstone Shire Council want the conference to support a motion aimed at encouraging fewer people to use plastic shopping bags. And South Burnett Regional Council is proposing two motions in a bid to improve the complaints process against councillors.
Of course, it will be at conference where these motions will ultimately be supported but various councils have ensured that, no matter what their fate, these public policy issues are at least getting an airing in the local community. In other words, these councils are showing the community what they stand for, no bad thing in the crowded market that is public debate.