At the Special Council Meeting of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council held on 13 April 2017 a number of major planning amendment were debated. These debates and the reports that were considered were done in confidential sessions; the Council’s right to move into confidential session is technically consistent with legislation but contrary to the spirit of the local government principles enshrined in the Local Government Act. OSCAR opposes the use of confidential sessions except in special circumstances – amendments to the Planning Scheme do not constitute special circumstances!
OSCAR decided to make a Right To Information (RTI) application to obtain the Report and Submissions that were tabled in the Council meeting; documents that the public should have always had access to. This exercise cost OSCAR $640 but we were able to obtain the documents we sought for Round 3A Amendment to Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014 – Mooloolaba.
Ironically, the documents we received were as tabled except for the names of individuals and organisations that made submissions – information we did not seek nor desire. This makes us wonder why the documents, and in fact the meeting session itself, needed to be confidential in the first place.