I READ with some disbelief that the Cockburn city council could approve funding for a paid councillor to improve his ability to speak in public.
There is a large number of our population who have a similar problem when it comes to public speaking; the answer is continual practice to build personal confidence, and not a paid one-on-one tutoring at someone else’s expense.
The approval of the expenditure of $10,400 on top of the already $11,350 already spent, is borderline on abuse of the ratepayers’ money.
I would also question whether it is part of the annual budget.
I consider that in the first instance it should never had been considered as a legitimate expenditure, let alone approved.
Councillor Widenbar should have been informed that it was a personal expenditure, and not council funded, as it is obvious that it is likely to benefit himself more than the council and the ratepayers.
Arthur J Stanton OAM
I WRITE in response to your “Dept sends Melville stern warning” article in last weekend’s Herald (March 25).
Myself and other councillors were bemused to see that the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries was requesting that “the Council commits to release the final Weir Legal and Consulting Report on the Review of Complaints Building and Planning at the City of Melville in entirety and the City’s progress in implementing the recommendations”, as council is the body who will eventually make the decision to release the report either in part or in full.
The primary purpose of the Weir Review was to identify, in relation to a number of instances, failures and the root causes in relation to compliance and other situations.
The City was well aware that the release of the Report would require redaction of personal information; perhaps this information was not provided to department officials at the meeting on January 31, 2023, and I am aware that the report was recently released under Freedom of Information.
As required by FOI legislation, all personal information has been redacted, leading to multiple pages being entirely obscured as part of the redaction process.
If the City had, during the consultation, required the report be written in such a manner
as to de-identify locations and contributors’ identities, then the redaction process would not have been required.
Alternatively the City could have written its own de-identified summary of the findings of the report for release.
City of Melville