Edward Kent, Suffolk Park
I oppose this ‘newDemocracy’ idea completely. Our tax dollars already go toward funding free, fair and open elections. There is no need to have an oversight committee. The idea is preposterous; why does council need one? Is Council inept? Council has been elected to do a job – get on with it.
Who will be on the oversight committee? According to Council the ‘newDemocracy will design and provide oversight of a process that combines the work of everyday people, councillors and local stakeholders to develop a Byron Model of Democracy. This will give time for a randomly selected group of around 21 local people to consider how Byron Shire Council make public decisions.’
If people are busy, haven’t been notified or aren’t in contact with Council they won’t know what is going on. This is utterly undemocratic; it excludes people who do not contact Council and register. Suddenly 21 random local people will carry decision-making influence – or will it just be a waste of time because they can only make recommendations?
This ‘newDemocracy’ exercise is more about off-loading responsibility than about Council getting the job done. It’s not democratic, doesn’t provide greater expertise or impartiality and does not indicate how decision making at Council will be more cost effective.
If Council feels they are supposed to magically please everyone they’ve missed the point.
Get on with the essentials: roads, rubbish, development applications and beautification for the local ratepayers who elected you and who pay for it with their tax.
The ‘newDemocracy’ exercise is another exercise in silliness, wasting time and what little financial resources we have in Byron Shire to address basic longstanding issues that need to be dealt with.