Public inquiry to sit in Sydney

The first hearings of the public inquiry into Blue Mountains Council will be heard in Sydney next month.

The commissioner, Richard Beasley SC, has announced that the section of his inquiry relating to the fourth term of reference - the appointment of Michael Tooma to conduct the investigation into asbestos incidents and concerns about employment practices - will take place at the NSW Bar Association Dispute Resolution Centre in Phillip Street in the city.

City court: Richard Beasley SC (appearing at the Murray Darling Basin Royal Commission last year) will conduct the inquiry into Blue Mountains Council.

City court: Richard Beasley SC (appearing at the Murray Darling Basin Royal Commission last year) will conduct the inquiry into Blue Mountains Council.

The hearing is set down for two days - Monday and Tuesday, April 8 and 9 - with the Friday of that week also set aside in case the hearing spills over.

Anyone wanting to appear at the hearings, must apply in writing to the commissioner before Monday, April 1.

Before the hearings start, a list of witnesses will be published on the inquiry website.

While the commissioner has said a daily transcript will be made of the hearings, he has not determined if and when it will be made publicly available.

At least one councillor believes the inquiry should be held in the Mountains, calling the decision to sit in Phillip St "astonishing".

Cr Kerry Brown proposed that council should write to Mr Beasley, asking him to convene in Katoomba. Her motion will be considered at an extraordinary council meeting tomorrow night.

""What is the point of a public inquiry away from the public who are most affected and most interested," she said. "It effectively disenfranchises our local community especially those who live higher up, work, have family responsibilities or mobility limitations."