Staff Advise Council To Say No To Citizens Jury

Editor The Beagle Weekly Dear Sir STAFF ADVISE COUNCIL TO SAY NO TO CITIZENS JURY At next week’s meeting Eurobodalla Shire council will consider a staff prepared response to each of the 86 recommendations made by the Citizens Jury last year. As far as I can tell all major recommendations which involve significant expenditure have been rejected. Specifically, the proposal to provide incentives for new businesses to establish or relocate in Eurobodalla is opposed because it has unacceptable “quadruple bottom line” implications, whatever these are. Similarly, financial support for those farmers who can demonstrate sustainable agricultural practices is opposed. These are conventional responses to calls on government to pick commercial winners and, in my view, are legitimate. No consideration seems to have been given to attracting investment by lowering all business and rural rates or water prices. More puzzling, the staff have rejected the jury’s proposal for more pathway funding on grounds that council funding will crowd out grant funding by other bodies. During their deliberations the jury was pushed in this proposal’s direction by council minders on an argument that past council funding has been very successful in leveraging external funding and volunteer effort. Tip fee relief to assist quick shire clean up of the shire after major storm events is rejected out of hand and consideration of a proposed increase in green bin size is postponed on the technicality that it apparently cannot be implemented until the current collection contract expires in 2022. And the jury’s innovative request for council to investigate a self funding transport system for low income residents is rejected on grounds that council is not in the transport business. So, we are left with only those recommendations which endorse council’s current practices and priorities. After this response jury members must be asking themselves whether it was worth the effort. And ratepayers are left to pay the bill for an expensive, ineffective and avoidable waste of time and effort. Paul Bradstreet Surf Beach

Above: The recommendations regarding the Citizen's Jury from Council's agenda that you can read in full here

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