CHIEF MINISTER BARR DISPARAGES COMMUNITY COUNCILS

19 November 2015

During the Assembly debate on Tuesday 18 November the Chief Minister Andrew Barr questioned the value of community councils.  He is reported to have stated that community councils are not representative because family people are not easily able to attend meetings during dinner time or during putting-children-to-bed time.  Because they are not elected by the community at large, the Legislative Assembly is far more representative than Community Councils will ever be.

Mr Barr stated that “We (ie the Barr Government) will push ahead with a variety of other consultation mechanisms, including with people who are not represented in these forums.  This government will engage in a much broader range of consultation.  Time To Talk has much stronger engagement with people under 50 and under 30.”

In response to these comments, Radio 2CC 1206 is now conducting a survey on their website homepage: http://www.2cc.net.au/.

We encourage all GNCA members to take advantage of this opportunity to provide feedback.

The GNCA executive believes that the loss of community councils would effectively eliminate any organised presentation of residents’ views to the government.  If the government were to rely exclusively on internet surveys to gauge community thinking, it would disadvantage those residents who do not regularly obtain their information by accessing government websites.  An over reliance on surveys can mean that the Government only hears what it wants to hear, or what its pollsters think it wants to hear.  The wording of surveys can be written so as to limit responses – this is a real problem for complex issues that require consideration from several different perspectives and may not have simple solutions.  Gauging the public’s view by survey can also preclude the advocacy of alternative policies and solutions.

I urge you all to participate in the 2CC poll at http://www.2cc.net.au/ as soon as possible.  We do not know when it will close.

 

John Edquist

President