Mayoral Minute 2023 Australia Day Honours

I fully supported Mr Mayors mayoral minute congratulating the very worthy recipients of the 2023 Australia Day Honours. 

I am thankful that Michael Fuller (AO), Leanne Clarke (OAM), Barry Ezzy (OAM), Geoffrey Forshaw (OAM) & Roger Mentha’s (AFSM) selfless dedication for going above and beyond to help improve the lives of others has been recognised.   

Defibrillators in the Sutherland Shire LGA

With over 30,000 people suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest every year. Those early minutes following a cardiac arrest are vital, with up to a 90% chance of survival if defibrillation occurs within the first few minutes. The chances are as low as 5% if no one starts CPR or if a defibrillator isn’t available in those early minutes.   Thank you to the Council staff for their ongoing work with Service NSW to include Council owned & managed AED’s on the NSW AED register, and for the work with the Sports & Active communities committee to encourage them to register their AEDs. 

The community awareness campaign to inform businesses, organisations, forums and individuals of the importance of registering their defibrillators is an extremley important project, which is why Cr Strangas & I put forward the amendment that all Councillors supported.

Councillor Cowell / Councillor Strangas 


  1. The report ‘Defibrillators in the Sutherland Shire Local Government Area’ be received and noted.

Once the communications strategy for community engagement is developed, a briefing be held for Councillors.

OLG Submission: Consultation on the Outcomes of the Review of the Councillor Misconduct Framework (K)

I support some of the Councils submission to the OLG. Given the timing of the request for consultation was during a break from Council, and a quick turnaround time it made it very difficult. I support Councillor Boyds motion to have a briefing from staff regarding the outcomes and the Sutherland Shire Councils submission. My feedback regarding the removal of the Public Forum is below.  

  1. In section 5. Headed Prevent, the last paragraph where it says that “Current guidelines recommend separating the public forum session from the formal business agenda and there are grounds to suggest that this should be made mandatory”

I disagree that the Public forum should be separated out and made mandatory for all Councils as Sutherland Shire Council manages the risk by requiring:

This Public Forum allows:

  • Councillors To hear the community’s opinion for or against on agenda items that will be debated at that meeting. 
  • Page 9 & 19 of the Councillor Handbook 2021 is referenced in support. 

“Councillors play a vital role in meeting the needs of local communities. They serve their communities by listening to people in the local area and then representing those views on council.”

“A Councillor’s role as an elected representative is to provide an essential link between the community and council.”

Page 9 & 19 of the Councillor Handbook 2021
  • Councillors to have Open, transparent, considered & be well-informed in their decision making.
  • Page 18 & 19 of the Councillor Handbook 2021 is referenced in support 

“to make considered and well-informed decisions as a member of the governing body”

“Councillors can best help individual members of the community by satisfying themselves that their council’s policies are being carried out correctly. If a councillor thinks that a policy need changing, they need to debate this in a full meeting of council. It is inappropriate for a councillor to informally attempt to ignore or alter a policy in order to satisfy the demands of special groups.”

Page 18 & 19 of the Councillor Handbook 2021
  • Councillors to meet the requirements of The Act
  • I reference Page 18 of the Councillor Handbook 

The Act makes it clear that Councillors are individually accountable to the local community for the performance of the council.

Page 18 of the Councillor Handbook
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Contact Laura Cowell