Query over Wangaratta meeting rotation

THE fate of regular Wangaratta Council meetings in rural areas hangs in the balance after administrators firmed up the location and time for the first three meetings for next year.

The council has been holding four meetings per year outside Wangaratta since 1997 with meetings held this year at Cheshunt, Whorouly and most recently Eldorado.

Traditionally the meeting schedule for an entire year is decided late in the year.

But this week administrators only locked in the January, February and March meetings in Wangaratta at the changed start time of 6pm.

Meetings have previously started an hour earlier, but administrators have decided to trial the 6pm start.

Former Wangaratta mayor Anthony Griffiths raised the issue of consultation on meeting venues during question time of the final meeting for the year.

“My query was whether there was going to be a formal consultation period where the public could make comment,” he said.

“The answer I got was they would consider it and take feedback into account.”

Administrators are considering the merit of only holding meetings in rural areas for a specific issue relating to that community.

Mr Griffiths said he supported the current system.

“It is not a great imposition to go out to these places,” he said.

“It gives people a chance to come and see council and staff and in this case the administrators in their own location.

“I thought it worked pretty well.”

Bobinawarrah resident Gary Nevin raised concerns of changed meeting times and locations at the first meeting held by the administrators at Eldorado last month.

“They have now passed up two golden opportunities to ask the people what they thought about the new arrangements,” he said.

“The gallery was quite large at Eldorado.

“That would have been a perfect time for feedback from rural constituents.”

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