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Council Update

This is a copy of the weekly Conversation with the GM and Council News as published in the Blayney Chronicle. 

A Conversation with the GM

Social Media 

Social media has evolved rapidly in recent years to become part of our everyday life and an integral way in which we communicate with individuals and groups throughout the world.

Whilst social media evolved rapidly, law makers and courts have struggled to keep up; with recent legislative updates and several court decisions regarding defamation on social media resulting in significant damages being awarded (in the hundreds of thousands).

In Narrabri, comments (and even the ‘liking’ of comments) regarding the Mayor were deemed to be defamatory by the NSW Supreme Court and subsequently liable with the first defendant ordered to pay $110,000 and the second defendant $10,000 (see https://www.lexisnexis.com.au/en/insights-and-analysis/practice-intelligence/2019/defamation-social-media-think-twice)

In September 2021, the High Court of Australia ruled in the Voller case, that any organisation that hosts or facilities online or social media content (sporting clubs, community groups etc) may be held liable for defamatory comments made by anyone. 
This has far reaching implications as it significantly exposes administrators (usually volunteers) of groups to liability for defamatory comments made by members of the group and/or public. Additionally, the author of the comments is also significantly exposed for any offensive comments deemed to be defamatory. 

Social media is a fantastic way to; connect, share, discuss and debate similar and alternate views on many issues. In the last week within the Blayney Shire there have been instances in community Facebook pages where Council staff have been fully named in a social media post and inferred to be not acting appropriately.

These posts were offensive and not appropriate. It is noted one was significantly altered and the other removed by the author altogether.

Blayney Shire Council staff take pride in their work, in particular because most are members of the wider Blayney community, with a considerable number choosing to reside in the shire mainly because of its warm, caring, inviting and friendly community values. As a community we need to remember those values when interacting online on social media platforms.

Social media is a fantastic platform to debate all types of issues pertinent to our community, including those that are Council related. It is not the place to debate peoples character or perceived behaviour, in particular Councillors or staff. Council does not actively monitor social media for issues being debated, in particular a Council related issue or service that needs attention. 

It is critically important if you feel a Council related issue or service requires investigation and/or attention that you report it to Council to ensure it is logged in our Customer Request Management system, so it can be accurately investigated and responded to accordingly.

Council can be contacted on 6368 2104 (Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 4.00pm),by email council@blayney.nsw.gov.au or through our online customer request form via www.blayney.nsw.gov.au      

Council Update

Council Meeting

The May Ordinary Meeting of Council will be held in the Chambers, Blayney Shire Community Centre, on Monday 16 May 2022, commencing at 6.00pm. Members of the community are welcome to attend. A copy of the Business Paper will be available on Council’s website the Friday prior to the meeting.

Documents on Public Exhibition

Following the April Ordinary Meeting, Council is seeking comment on the following documents now on public exhibition:

  • Draft Blayney Shire Community Strategic Plan 2022/2032
  • Millthorpe Village Centre Master Plan

These documents are available for viewing and downloading on Council website www.blayney.nsw.gov.au/your-council/on-exhibtion
Written submissions must be received prior to 5pm Thursday 19 May 2021.

Household Chemical Clean Out

The safe way to dispose of potentially hazardous household chemicals is at the Household Chemical CleanOut event. These events are free services held across NSW of specified dates. Use CleanOut to safely dispose of household chemicals that could cause harm to human health and the environment if not disposed of correctly.

This will be held at the Blayney Waste Facility located at 4117 Mid Wester Highway on Monday 6 June 2022 from 8am to 11am.

Items include:
  • Solvents and household cleaners
  • Floor care products
  • Ammonia-based cleaners
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Poisons
  • Pool chemicals
  • Hobby chemicals
  • Motor fuels
  • Florescent globes and tubes
  • Acids and alkalis
  • Smoke detectors
  • Paint and paint-related products
  • Gas bottles
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Car and household batteries
  • Motor oils and cooking oils

Household Chemical Cleanout

Last modified: 12 May 2022