RAAF wing givenfreedom of the city

REDLAND Mayor Karen Williams with Group Captain Peter Davis, officer Commanding 395 Expeditionary Combat Support Wing at Wednesday’s meeting. PHOTO: Judith KerrREDLAND City council has put out the welcome mat to a special combat wing of the Royal Australian Air Force, which will be granted freedom to enter the city at a $20,000 ceremony in April.
Nanjing Night Net

The ceremony will include a parade down Bloomfield Street and presentation of a scroll to the officer commanding the 395 Expeditionary Combat Support Wing.

Group Captain Peter Davis said that freedom of the city was a dual opportunity for his Support Wing and Redland.

Division 6 councillor Julie Talty, in support, said freedom of the city was an honour for both parties.

Captain Davis said it was a sign of respect for the military and an act of friendship from cities, which stood to benefit in times of disaster.

He said his members were the first on the ground in Ipswich during floods in 2012 and were able to help with sandbags and disaster relief.

Freedom of the city is a military tradition dating back to the Middle Ages when there were walled cities in Europe. It will be granted to the Wing on April 12, to coincide with the centenary of World War I and as part of the lead up to Anzac Day.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, council agreed to write to Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie with suggestions on changes to the Right to Information Act 2009 and the Information Privacy 2009.

The RTI Act allows people to access council documents, and officers said the $41.90 fee for access to information was not covering council processing costs.

The 2014 council meeting schedule was also approved at the meeting with the first meeting for the year set for Wednesday, January 29 and the last on December 10, 2014.

Council will continue tohold fortnightly meetings next year except in school holidays. Meetings will start at the new time of 9.30am instead of 10.30am.

A review of 28 Local Laws, including those governing swimming pools, animal management and use of local roads, was deferred to the December meeting.

However, council did approve granting chief executive Bill Lyon greater delegated powers.

Councillors Paul Bishop (div 10) and Paul Gleeson (Div 9) voted against the idea because they were concerned they would not be told of changes made using the powers.

Officer Nick Clarke said delegating was necessary to cut down on red tape and was a legislative requirement, recommended by the Local Government Association of Queensland.

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