Public inquiry into council is open for submissions
The Public Inquiry into Central Coast Council is accepting submissions over the next three weeks.
Submissions close on June 21.
"The Commissioner encourages submissions on matters falling within the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry as soon as possible," an information paper advises.
Submissions were encouraged from the Council, individual councillors, Council's Administrator, Council's general manager, senior council staff, other council staff, the Office of Local Government, as well as interested members of the public.
"Councillors and Council employees have no additional privileges or protections over and above other persons generally in respect of any submissions they may choose to make.
"Generally, the Commissioner proposes that submissions to the Inquiry will be made publicly available.
"When deciding whether to do so, the Commissioner may weigh the likely public benefit gained from publication against any damage that may arise from publication.
"The overriding concern of the Commissioner is to encourage persons who have information relevant to the terms of reference of the Inquiry to come forward and give that information to the Inquiry, in the knowledge that they will not suffer recriminations or other liability as a result.
"The Commissioner requests that interested parties lodge written submissions even if the submissions are intended to be supported by an oral presentation at the public hearings.
"The Notice of Public Inquiry invites persons making written submissions to indicate, at the same time, whether they wish to appear in person at the public hearings.
"This is for the purpose of assisting the Commissioner to identify the likely number of persons who wish to give oral evidence at the hearings, and to thereby assist the orderly functioning of the public hearings phase of the Inquiry.
"However, it is not essential for persons who would like to appear at the public hearings to make an advance written submission."
In that case, "such notice is to include a brief outline of the topics the person wishes to address, having regard to the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry.
"It should be noted, however, that the Commissioner is not obliged to automatically give a right of appearance to all persons wishing to appear before her.
"Details of the venue and times of the public hearings will be announced in due course."
Further enquiries regarding the Inquiry can be made to the Office of the Commissioner
The Information Paper is available on the public inquiry website at olg.nsw,gov.au/public-inquiries/central-coast-council-public-inquiry/
Website, 30 May 2021
Public inquiries, Office of Local Government