Councils have bad name but the rot is at the top - the LGAQ
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
THE recent listing of people who could be good candidates for Gympie Regional Council showed portraits of exciting and successful people in their prime.
But we need to know all aspects of candidates, including lifestyle and politics, as that will give a look into what to expect when they vote at a council meeting.
For example the Gympie Council was told if we didn't vote for amalgamation "they” would do it for us”. And the supporters of that government pushed hard for us all to agree.
The most important attributes for elected members in local government is common sense, a common touch that allows them to be able to talk to all types in the community, and an ability to make a quick decision on their feet.
Council work is nothing like working in an office, setting up a small business or being an activist with a grudge.
In the same breath it is a learning curve and anyone with a brain can negotiate the waters if they are there for the good of the community, they have the courage to speak up and they realise they are not a member of a secret group and so need to keep the public informed.
The State Government, which created local government in the first place as a statutory body, has overtaken some decision responsibility areas of local government, and often passing on to local government some areas that the State Government doesn't want if it makes it unpopular with the people.
We really need strong people who can start to reverse the power that the Local Government Association seems to have over the local councils in Queensland.
It acts like a union for the staff and not a supporter of the elected people too.
And the trouble with divisions is sometimes the quality of the elected person.
If there is no real opposition for the election we can get someone who would never make the grade in an undivided council.
At the moment local government has a bad name. I think the rot has to stop at the Local Government Association level and a rethink of its role and the changes that should be made.
Julia Lawrence OAM,