At the Redland City Council meeting on 16 July it was encouraging to hear a number of Councillors mention the need for community consultation on a range of issues. Indeed, one Councillor went as far as acknowledging that better outcomes were achieved through harnessing the talent in the community.
It is hoped that these collective remarks indicate a change in the Council to have a genuine approach to community consultation unlike the sham that was the Toondah Harbour and Weinam Creek PDA exercise. However, there is a difference between selective hearing and genuine consultation.
Redland City’s consultation process for City Plan 2015
We wonder if Redland City’s consultation process for the City Plan 2015, scheduled for July and August, is a step in the right direction. Council has engaged consultants Bang the Table to assist them with managing a tightly controlled consultation process. This features mainly on-line engagement together with some displays and six small group forums. The six forum sessions are limited to one hour each with a maximum number of twenty participants per session. Participants need to book in advance for each session using an online booking system.
Time and actions will tell whether this exercise is truly a move towards a more community conscious Council. Recent State by-elections for the seats of Redcliffe and Stafford should have emphasized the need for politicians to listen to their electors. Maybe it would be better if the Mayor and Councillors listened directly to people in the community instead of engaging consultants to do it for them.
First two City Plan forums postponed
The first three City Plan consultation forums on 24th, 26th and 31st of July are supposed to be for discussion about the Council’s draft Economic Development Strategy. Redlands2030 has already reviewed this document quite critically in our post Redland City’s “cunning plan”.
The Redland City Council website is now advising that the first two sessions (Capalaba 24 July and Cleveland 26 July) have been postponed due to illness. Presumably, there is only one person among the whole of Council’s vast array of elected representatives, staff and consultants who is capable of discussing the draft Economic Development Strategy with the Redlands community. We hope that this totally unique person gets well soon.