The number of councillor-raised items has almost halved since general business was axed in 2016.
The number of councillor-raised items has almost halved since general business was axed in 2016.

Numbers reveal the silence since death of general business

GYMPIE Regional Council appears to have become a quiet place, with a huge drop in the number councillor-raised items since general business was scrapped in 2016.

In the first full term of the new “notified motion system” – which replaced general business – a total of 39 items were brought before council by the region’s elected councillors.

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In comparison, 79 items were raised in general business throughout the 2012-2016 council term, including 33 in 2012.

#letthemspeak: The Gympie Times is calling for the council to reinstate general business to meetings.
#letthemspeak: The Gympie Times is calling for the council to reinstate general business to meetings.

This total excludes leave of absence requests; these were raised in general business but moved to another section of the agenda when the system changed.

And the discrepancy would be much worse without Dan Stewart.

The incumbent Division 5 councillor accounted for 19 of the 39 motions brought to council in the past four years.

Dan Stewart.
Dan Stewart.

General business was axed unanimously by councillors at the first meeting of this incumbent council.

Within five months, former councillor James Cochrane had called for its return. Mr Cochrane later resigned his council seat.

He was backed in his call to bring back general business by Mr Stewart, Glen Hartwig and Hilary Smerdon, but the push was one vote short of support.

Last week, Mr Stewart reiterated his call for general business to return to council agendas as part of his re-election campaign.