Letters 19.2.22

Vexing lack of consultation

ON 10 November 2021 WA’s minister for local government released a reform package which he claimed would bring about the “largest change to local government in 25 years”. 

A key theme of the package is “stronger community engagement”.

So how ironic that the minister held no public forums during the three month consultation period for citizens to better understand the proposals. 

The minister also declined an invitation to appear on 6PR in January, to discuss the reforms with Larry Graham. 

So the most basic consultation technique – written submissions – is the only avenue to provide feedback.

And even though local governments claim they are the ‘closest to the community and able to best identify community needs’, none of those in the area covered by the Voice Newspaper, engaged with their communities to inform the content of their submissions to the minister.

Not a great start then for the proposed “stronger community engagement”.

If local governments had engaged with their residents and ratepayers, I wonder if they would have all eagerly supported the minister’s proposal to give local governments the legal right to declare a citizen as vexatious? A process that will impact on freedom of speech and the ability for citizens to obtain answers 

to issues raised with their local government. 

It shouldn’t be forgotten that many injustices and corrupt practices by institutions have only been uncovered by dogged questioning or whistleblowers. Yet this proposed legislation will discourage such behaviour and as such, will reduce government transparency and accountability.

If local governments had engaged with the community, residents may have instead demanded the legislative right for citizens to obtain accurate and timely responses to issues raised with elected members and employees of their local government. And even penalties for non-compliance!

Feedback on the minister’s reform proposals can be submitted until February 25. 

Please consider asking him to dump this anti-democratic proposal.

Andrew Main
North Perth 

What a bore

DUE to plummeting water tables all over the place, private bore water owners have been told to cut their water days from three days to two.

Why doesn’t someone just say what it really is: Overpopulation and the associated climate change byproduct from overpopulation activity.

Water wars and imminent human overpopulation collapse have not only been prophesied but scientifically acknowledged.

Brad Capes
Coolbellup

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