24 March 2020
Mayor Peter Petty, took the decision this morning to postpone the Ordinary Council scheduled to be held on Wednesday, 25 March 2020 while revised meeting processes are being investigated to protect Councillors, staff and members of the public during the rapidly escalating COVID-19 crisis.
“I spoke to each of the Councillors and following their input and in line with general health and safety guidelines for NSW Local Government meetings, postponed the Council Meeting under the terms of the Local Government Act which allows for a meeting to be cancelled or postponed because of natural disaster or if it could pose a danger or health risk to Council representatives or members of the public”, Mayor Petty said.
The meeting was originally scheduled to be held at the Torrington Hall due to the current upgrade of the Council Chamber but was transferred back to the RSL Pavilion last week in order to restrict potential exposure of the Torrington community.
While legislation exists in Queensland to allow teleconferencing of Council Meetings, it does not exist in NSW and Tenterfield, together with other NSW Councils, is waiting for the NSW Office of Local Government to amend the legislation or to make special provisions, so that Councils can continue to operate.
“While the issues of meeting procedure are being addressed, Council services to the community and other day to day activities are continuing wherever possible”, Mayor Petty said.
“Roadworks are ongoing, kerbside waste collections occur at the usual times, town water supplies are being managed, applications are being processed and the management of projects remains on track. While face-to-face customer services have been closed, many of our staff are now working from home to ensure that the organisation can continue to function into the future. Our online and phone services remain open and it is reassuring to note that our Council has been ahead of the game in assessing the risk and bringing in the necessary safety measures,” the Mayor concluded.