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Frank Newman: Activists on Council Payroll PDF Print
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Articles - Environmental Planning
Written by Frank Newman, Breaking Views   
Sunday, 14 March 2010

While I have done my utmost to ignore the local political scene since retiring as a councillor in 2004, I could not resist the temptation to call in on a local community consultation meeting last week. The meeting was called to receive community input on “Sustainable Futures 30/50”, an ambitious plan which purports to have the objective of asking people what they would like our district to be like in 2050. The exercise raises a number of interesting issues.

The turnout to the meeting was typically dismal (but more than the nil turnout to another of the meetings!). The same clique of 20 or so aging faces that always attend these meetings locally were there, plus a few others. It was like stepping back in time and having to listen to their same complaints: houses are visual pollution and the council should stop all development, forestry trucks are dangerous and should not be allowed on the roads, and dogs and cats should be banned from households living next to bush reserves.

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