One of the nicest things to come out of the competitive lead-up to the Council elections has been conversations amongst candidates and their various representatives outside the Shire’s two pre-poll booths. Between voter visits, we discussed all sorts of Council issues.
I talked with a couple, who live in downtown Byron, about creating a permanent Shire-wide Flood Committee, in lieu of the single-catchment committees that disappear once their Floodplain Plan is complete. We can review flooding in the CBD and formulate actions to minimise damage in future floods. These actions would include connecting residents and shop owners, and connecting them to the lead agency State Emergency Services. And Council now has its emergency website running, to support communications.
I spoke with Bruce Clarke about how we can better treat Council’s suppliers and tenderers. Staff deal with them (not Councillors) but we could have a policy on how Council deals with people outside its corridors. It could have a chapter on suppliers and tenderers. And another on DA applicants and DA objectors.
I spoke with a tourism expert about how we can flavour tourism towards wellness, health, music, arts, culture and our food industries, as well as the beach. We can promote visitation that we want and make tourism work for us.
Three mayoral candidates heard from a voter whose daughters each had DAs with Council for most of 2021. I already plan to reintroduce the Fast Lane system that Council once had for DAs. Asren talked about triaging – working out which lane each DA would go to.
Let’s make these things happen, and many more. These are just examples. The principle, however, is to hear community, to create channels for their voices, and to retain existing channels like Council’s Advisory Committees and the Roundtables that connect with the Shire’s Chambers of Commerce and Progress Associations.