Over the past two years I’ve had discussions with a large number of Tweed residents and visitors while collecting many of the 16,000 signatures on the ‘Save Lot 490’ petition and conducting the 1250 strong ‘Future of Kingscliff’ survey.
Contempt for government, including Tweed Shire Council, was evident in so many of these conversations. Many .people have given up on having any influence within our democratic system. Their rights have been crushed by lobbyists trading favours for political donations.
Some of us have been too quick to label those who have disengaged from government as apathetic. We are wrong and I, for one, apologise. People have made a sensible and rational response to being sidelined at all levels of government.
At a local level Tweed Shire Council is going backwards. Bureaucrats are ramping up their control. Accountability is being avoided. They are creating spin and ignoring relevant information. We are on the path to a bloated bureaucracy just to manage this spin.
Hopefully the next batch of councillors will retrieve council’s lost respect and engage the Tweed community in meaningful discussion.
The ‘I know what’s best for you’ attitude is endemic among bureaucrats and some councillors.
We know what’s best for us and this should be the basis for many more council decisions.
Ron Cooper, Kingscliff