Letters

Community urged to support policy changes

Ed,

Before a DA in our vicinity was approved, we made legitimate inquiries to the CVC asking if a survey was undertaken on the property. Our request was ignored for 18 months. Eventually, Council did provide the survey and other documents after the Information & Privacy Commissioner supported our right to that information.

The CVC Acting General Manager then emailed informed us, without warning, she was invoking the Unreasonable Complainant Conduct (UCC) policy so that the three of us couldn’t interact with Council for 6 months unless it was a genuine emergency.

The UCC policy is now being reviewed. We believe it needs to be improved to build in protections for the whole community.

The Draft UCC Policy could be improved by including: how a complainant can appeal a restriction; have an advisory group (GM, Mayor, and two community members with social work qualifications, experience) to assess an appeal; when it is found the Council has erred, to provide a written apology to the complainant (stating the UCC was incorrectly invoked), signed by the GM and/or Mayor, and placed on the “complainant’s” Council file; UCC actions to be confidentially reported to Council every six months.

We urge you to lodge a submission to safeguard the community so that the policy does not have the potential to avoid responding to inquiries or covering Council’s own errors.

Submissions close 26 May 2022. We urge you to support changes to the policy at:

Draft Managing Unreasonable Conduct by Complainants (UCC) Policy V3.0 | Clarence Valley Council (nsw.gov.au)

Or write to CVC, UCC Policy, Locked Bag 23, Grafton 2460.

 

Lynne and Bob Cairns

Shane Powell

Yamba

 

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