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Byron Shire
April 15, 2021

Tweed council’s discriminatory consultation

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So Tweed Shire Council has an ethical investment policy. What’s needed now is an ethical consultation policy.

Council’s practice of consulting with ‘stakeholders’ in the early stages of proposals turns out to be clearly discriminatory.

Residents and their families who have invested everything in the Tweed are not considered to be stakeholders for the purpose  of consultation. They may get a look-in when it’s way too late to have a significant influence.

Council recently convened a meeting in Kingscliff to deal with issues that have been contentious within the community.

The business association along with individual businesses were invited. The residents association was also invited but residents were not. In fact one resident was actually denied access.

We are a democracy. Residents are stakeholders. They should be consulted just like council’s preferred ‘stakeholders’.

There is a whiff of arrogance when bureaucrats tick the consultation box that includes only their chosen stakeholders.

It is disappointing when two Kingscliff councillors, Byrne and Polglase consistently vote against public meetings that would include everyone who wishes to participate.

The Our 490 (campaign group) will convene the public meetings that council seems to be resisting.

Professional expertise will be available to help residents reach consensus and to support them in their negotiations with and presentations to council.

Common sense and collective wisdom, supported by professional advice will overcome the ‘we know what’s best for you’ mindset that exists within the council bureaucracy and among some councillors.

Ron Cooper, Kingscliff  

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