David Risstrom - Greens Melbourne City Councillor 1999-2004
About this site 2011 Current News and Issues 100 Green Achievements David Risstrom's Progressive Internet Links
  2004 Through Green Coloured Glasses 100 More Green Achievements David Risstrom's Homepage

Thinking Environment Homepage

Email David Risstrom

David Risstrom News + Views Apr-Jun 09

David Risstrom's Senate Watch

100 Green Achievements

100 More Green Achievements

David's OnLine PhD - The Greens and the Planet's Future

David Risstrom's Articles, Essays and Speeches

David Risstrom's Media Releases

David Risstrom's Progressive Internet Links

Through Green Coloured Glasses 2004

Your Ideas and Priorities

Thinking Environment On Air

Greensforums

David Risstrom's Community Involvement

Victorian Local Government Elections 2008

Sustainability Game

Dave's Thoughts

Thank You To The Beautiful People

It's Not Easy Being Green

The Victorian Greens Homepage: Policies

The Australian Greens Charter


ARCHIVES BELOW

David Risstrom - Victorian Greens No. 1 Senate Candidate

Rosa the Policy Watchdog drives policy!

David Risstrom News + Views Oct:-Dec 07:Jul-Sep 07: Apr-Jun 07: Jan-Mar 07

David Risstrom News + Views: Oct-Dec 06: Jul-Sep 06: Apr-Jun 06: Jan-Mar 06

Rosa and Dave's News + Views: Oct-Dec 05: Jul-Sep 05; Apr-Jun 05; Jan-Mar 05

Rosa and Dave's News + Views Oct-Dec 2004: Jul-Sep 2004; Apr-Jun 2004; Jan-Mar 2004

Rosa and Dave's News + Views Oct-Dec 2003; Jul-Sep 2003; Apr-Jun 2003; Jan-Mar 2003

Rosa and Dave's News + Views 2002

Through Green Coloured Glasses 2003; 2002

David Risstrom's Community Involvement 2004-2001; 2001-1999; Pre-1999

Did Cr. Risstrom Deliver on His Promises for 2001-2004?; 1999-2001?

Victorian Local Government Elections 2008: 2005: 2004

 

 
SUSTAINING DEMOCRACY
 
 

ACHIEVEMENTS: These are listed below and are now detailed in pages in their own right, which you can access by clicking on the title.

1/ Establishment of The People's Forum in the Council Chamber

2/ Recording of Votes in Council

3/ Recording Councillor Comments in Council and Committee

4/ Successfully Changing the Practice Of Presenting Council Material in Confidential Session

5/ Reforming the Rules Concerning Commercial-In-Confidence

6/ Protecting Freedom Of Political Expression for People in the City of Melbourne

7/ Writing and Moving a Successful Motion to Democratise International Negotiations on the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)

TARGET DATE: December 2002 PROGRESS: Achieved.

DESCRIPTION: See each subheading, which is hotlinked to a page providing further detail.

1/ Establishment of The People's Forum in the Council Chamber

I created The People's Forum to inculcate a sense of Athenian democracy, where the people of the city come to sit in the seats the Councillors would usually use, and the citizens of Melbourne could set the agenda for discussions with their Councillors.

The Melbourne City Council website describes it this way: The People's Forums your chance to set the agenda at a meeting with Melbourne City Councillors. Held in the historic Council Chamber and open to all members of the community, the People's Forum provides another opportunity to ask questions, present views and exchange ideas with Councillors and other members of the public on issues that are important to the City and its community.

2/ Recording of Votes in Council

This mandates that the votes of Councillors in Council and Committee are recorded in all instances.

Councillors vote in formal Council meetings, with rules allowing the majority decision to be carried as the decision of Council. Previously, Councillor votes were only recorded as for or against if a request for a recording of the votes or a division was formally made. This meant most votes were carried without a record of how individual Councillors voted on that decision.

3/ Recording Councillor Comments in Council and Committee

This mandates that the relevant comments of Councillors in Council and Committee are recorded in the minutes of Council and Committee.

Councillors frequently make comments that are relevant to the decisions they take in Council. This idea is to ensure that where relevant comments are made by Councillors that their is a mechanism and expectation for those comments to be recorded faithfully. I proposed this to the Council and it was adopted by the Council. The City of Melbourne has continued to adopt this approach, now recording Council proceedings on tape and recording the relevant comments in the published minutes. This measure, in addition to my adopted proposal to record the votes of Councillors on all formal decisions has created a record of accountability previously not available but nevertheless much needed.

4/ Successfully Changing the Practice Of Presenting Council Material in Confidential Session

When I was first elected to Melbourne City Council in 1999 approximately half of the agenda of Council meetings was conducted in closed sessions that excluded public scrutiny. I felt this was wrong and set about to change the way Council operated as a open decision making body. Reforms I introduced lead to the previous practice of approximately half of Council decision making moving from closed session, to one where the Council considered the merits of whether the matters should be dealt with in closed session, and increased the proportion of open sessions dramatically.

5/ Reforming the Rules Concerning Commercial-In-Confidence

 

6/ Protecting Freedom Of Political Expression for People in the City of Melbourne

A recognition and reminder that political freedom needs to be gained, maintained and re-gained, events as described below meant the long hard for right to freedom of political expression was again under threat. Left unchallenged, Melbourne City Council's interpretation meant it would require administrative bureaucratic approval for demonstrations, speeches, pamphlets, stalls and many other forms of public information dissemination. This achievement was to secure the City of Melbourne's support for a guarantee of political freedom os expression within the bounds of the City of Melbourne.

7/ Writing and Moving a Successful Motion to Democratise International Negotiations on the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)

I wrote and moved a motion to democratise international negotiations on the General Agreement on Trade in services (GATS). The motion was adopted on 15 October 2002 at the Melbourne City Council Finance, Corporate Services and Governance Committee.

1. That Council:
1.1. Believes public policy regarding the regulation, funding and provision of essential services should be made democratically by governments at the national, state and local level;
1.2. Calls on the Federal Government to fully consult with state and local government;
about the implications of the GATS negotiations for local government services and regulation;
1.3. Calls on the Federal Government to make public the specific requests it made to other governments in the GATS negotiations which were due on 30 June 2002;
1.4. Calls on the Federal Government to make public its specific responses to requests from other governments which are due on 30 March 2003;
1.5. Calls on the Federal Government to support the clear exclusion of public services from the GATS, including local government community services and water services;
1.6. Calls on the Federal Government to oppose any proposals which would open up the funding of such public services to privatisation;
1.7. Calls on the Federal Government to oppose any proposals which would reduce the right of local government to regulate services, including the application of a "least trade restrictive" test to regulation;
1.8. Writes to the Minister for Trade concerning the above; and
1.9. Submits the above motions for adoption by the Victorian Local Government Association at its Annual Conference with an additional motion that they be submitted for adoption by the Australian Local Government Association at its Annual Conference.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

 

Cool Green Tip Of The Week -

23 April 2017: Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918 -1956.

This site is written, authorised and maintained by David Risstrom , 377 Little Bourke St. Melbourne, Australiaand had more than 1,003,082 visitors and 3,052,017 hits when updated on Sun 23 April 2017.