Freedom of Information

This information statement is published in accordance with section 96 of the Freedom of Information Act 1992.

1. Structure and Functions of Council

Establishment

The Shire of Morawa is established under the Local Government Act 1995, and has the responsibility for the administration of this Act within the municipality. Other major legislation which creates a duty or an authority for Council to act, includes but is not limited to:

  • Health Act 2016
  • Town Planning and Development Act 2005
  • Bush Fires Act 1954
  • Dog Act 1976
  • Cemeteries Act 1986
  • Building Act 2011

Council

Council’s affairs are managed by seven people elected from and by the community, who act in a voluntary capacity, and represent all electors. The Council acts as a community board, establishing policies and making decisions within the requirements of the Local Government Act on a wide range of issues affecting the community, and in keeping with the legislative requirements to:

  • Determine policies to be applied by Council in exercising its discretionary powers.
  • Determine the type, range and scope of projects to be undertaken by Council.
  • Develop comprehensive management plans, budgets, financial controls and performance objectives and indicators for the operations of Council.

The Council makes decisions which direct and/or determine its activities and functions. Such decisions include the approval of works and services to be undertaken, and the allocation of resources to works and services.

Decisions are also made to determine whether or not approvals are to be granted for applications for residential and commercial development.

Ordinary meetings of Council are held on the third Thursday of each month commencing at 5.30pm. All members of the public are welcome to attend.

Personal Involvement

Elected members are involved with many organisations within the community, and are also active in representing Morawa at a regional or state level.
Council’s nominations to other organisations include:

  • Northern Zone of WALGA,
  • Mid West Regional Road Group
  • North East Farming Futures Group
  • Morawa Farm Improvement Group
  • Morawa Landcare Conservation District Committee
  • Morawa Roadwise Committee
  • Morawa District Fire Brigade
  • Audit Committee
  • Morawa Education Alliance

Standing Committees

At present there is one standing Committee of Council:

  • Audit Committee

Occasional Committees

Council utilises occasional Committees as and when required.

Public Participation

Members of the public are welcome to attend meetings of Council and have a number of opportunities to put forward their views on particular issues before Council. These are:

  • Public Question time at ordinary meetings of Council – A minimum period of 15 minutes at the commencement of a Council Meeting will be made available for question time for the public. It should be noted that questions raised by the public should relate to matters affecting the local government.
  • Deputations to Committees and Council – If a member of the public has a particular interest in an item being discussed, they may apply to state their case or explain an issue.
  • Petitions – Written petitions can be addressed to Council on any issue within Council jurisdiction.
  • Written Requests – A member of the public can write to Council on any Council policy, activity or service.
  • Councillors – Members of the public can contact Councillors to discuss any issue relevant to Council.

Community Consultation

It is Council’s practice to consult with the community as much as possible. At times the whole community may be asked to comment on a particular issue, while in other instances, only the people directly affected by some issue will be consulted. Comments from the community are welcome at any time on any issue under Council’s direction.
The consultation will take many forms. Some of the more commonly used methods are:

  • Public meetings
  • Workshops
  • Expressions of interest
  • Advertisements in the local paper
  • Leaflet drops
  • Surveys
  • Consultative Committees
  • Displays

Agendas

To ensure that all items are included in the Agenda for Council meetings, it is requested that items for consideration be submitted to the Chief Executive Officer at least 14 days prior to Council meeting, as Agendas are prepared for members and are distributed one week prior to the meeting. This will permit your item to be researched if necessary, and be presented to Council with a recommendation for decision, if appropriate.

Copies of the Agenda are available prior to the meeting in accordance with the Local Government Act 1995. Please note that all Minutes are subject to confirmation by Council.

Delegated Authority

Under the Local Government Act 1995, Council is able to delegate many powers to either Committees or to the Chief Executive Officer. A Committee or the CEO may then further delegate the duty or responsibility to perform a task. Delegations are recorded in a Register, and are reviewed by Council annually.

2. Services to the Community

Council provides an extensive variety of services for the community under a wide range of legislation. Services provided include:

  • Building control
  • Bush fire control
  • Cemeteries
  • Citizenship ceremonies
  • Crossovers
  • Dog control
  • Drainage
  • Environmental health
  • Fire prevention
  • Library services
  • Litter bins
  • Media releases
  • Parks & reserves
  • Planning controls
  • Playground equipment
  • Public buildings for hire
  • Public toilets
  • Recreation/sport facilities
  • Recycling
  • Roads, footpaths & kerbs
  • Rubbish collection
  • Storm water drainage
  • Street lighting
  • Street sweeping
  • Street tree planting
  • Swimming pool
  • Traffic control works

3. Access to Council Documents

The following documents are available for inspection at the Council Offices free of charge. Copies of the documents can be made available, although some will incur a charge to cover the cost of photocopying. The Local Government Act 1995 does stipulate minimum requirements for documents to be made available for public inspection, and these include:

  • Minutes and Agendas of Council and committee meetings
  • General Policy Manual
  • Annual Budgets
  • Annual Report
  • Annual Financial Statements
  • Monthly Financial Statements
  • Council Local Laws (formerly known as By-laws)
  • Town Planning Scheme
  • Electoral Rolls
  • Financial Interest Register - Primary and Annual Returns, and Declarations

Freedom of Information Requests

It is the aim of the Shire of Morawa to make information available promptly and at the least possible cost, and whenever possible documents will be provided outside the FOI process.

If information is not routinely available, the Freedom of Information Act 1992 provides the right to apply for documents held by the agency to enable the public to ensure that personal information in documents is accurate, complete, up to date and not misleading.

Freedom of Information Applications

Access applications have to be:

  • In writing;
  • Give enough information so that the documents requested can be identified;
  • Give an Australian address where notices can be sent; and
  • Be lodged at the agency with any applicable fee payable.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1992, an application fee and search fee must be submitted with the completed request form, unless the information is of a personal nature, or an exemption is granted. A copy of the request form is attached.

Freedom of Information Charges

A scale of fees and charges is set under FOI Act regulations. Apart from the application fee for non-personal information, all charges are discretionary. The charges are as follows:

  • $30 - Lodgement Fee (Minimum fee providing 2 hours research and 20 A4 copies. No fee is applicable for Personal Information about the applicant.
  • $ Actual Cost - Additional Research Clerical (Per hour of staff time)
  • 20c - Additional Document Copies (Per A4 page)

Contact

Please contact the Shire of Morawa Administration Centre at the following address if you have a query regarding any of the above Freedom of Information Statement or if you would simply like more information:

FOI Coordinator
Shire of Morawa Administration Centre
PO Box 14
Morawa WA 6623

Telephone: (08) 9971 1204
Facsimile: (08) 9971 1284
Email: admin@morawa.wa.gov.au

Freedom of Information Statement