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Will the Greens reinstate the live streaming and recording of the Public Forum?

We will be repeating Clr Pat McGinlay's calls for the re-instatement of live streaming and recording of the Public Forum, where the community is invited to attend council prior to Council meetings to address items on that day's agenda. The technology is in place to live stream, record and archive Public Access sessions too. Nearby Bega Valley Shire can do it, so can we. On a new council, this will be a straightforward step to foster broader engagement from the community outside of the constraints of the council meeting agenda.
Local government is not representative without robust grassroots engagement with the community. We will also look at how we can make a broader cross-section of the community feel welcome to address council in the Forum or the Access.

Are the Greens anti-development?

No. We support appropriate and community-led development. That is, development that truly 'develops' the liveability of our shire instead of undermining our natural heritage. Council needs an easily accessible "plan for the future", so residents can look up what type of developments are going where, and not be surprised as they were recently in Broulee and Dalmeny. Our principles on planning and development include:

  • Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) must be the primary consideration underlying all planning decisions.
    Environmental and social considerations in the decision-making process should no longer be secondary to economic considerations.
  • If we're not planning for climate, we're planning to fail.
    Both minimising emissions and adaptating to climate change impacts must be central to all decisions about planning and infrastructure.
  • Democratic processes must be paramount.
    Communities must be empowered, involved and listened to in the making of planning laws and the determination of development applications.

Few of the Eurobodalla's residents are living here 'for the economy'.We've chosen this 'Nature Coast' as our home because of the beautiful landscape between the mountains and the sea and friendly communities - let these be our priorities when we are desiging our future here.

What do you mean by Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD)??

We are guided by internationally recognised ESD principles:

  • The precautionary principle— if there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, the benefit of the doubt must lie with protecting the environment.
  • Inter-generational equity aka "What kind of world will we leave for our children and their children?"
  • When making planning decisions the health, diversity and productivity of the environment must be maintained or enhanced for future generations.
  • Biological diversity and ecological integrity— conserving diversity and ecological integrity is fundamental and these values must not be traded away for alleged economic benefits.
  • Improved valuation, pricing and incentive mechanisms— environmental factors (clean air, water, trees, minerals and quietude) should be included in the valuation of development.
Nature must no longer be seen as inexhaustible and free to be exploited. Polluters should pay for their pollution and waste management. The valuation of development must include its full life cycle costs.

Are you going to hide behind commercial in confidence procedures?

There is a role for commercial in confidence during tender periods, but we believe it has been much overused recently to avoid transparent reporting to ratepayers. Wherever possible we hold that council should run open and transparent shared decision making processes and partner with community – it’s a relationship that should always be put at the forefront in council actions since we work better together when trust is high.

What about community centres?

Community groups make a big difference to the lives of so many in our shire and beyond. They contribute vast amounts of volunteer labour to environmental, social and welfare work. It would be great to see Eurobodalla Shire Council assisting such community groups by providing low-to-no-cost meeting spaces in council-owned venues. We as a community reap the rewards from community groups; council should not be asking them to make their venues profitable.

What can council do about Mental Health Services (MHS) in Eurobodalla?

We have seen council support access to more MHS through Bushfire Recovery, with grant funding from State and Federal govternments. This is a successful model and should continue beyond this intial recovery period – on council we will pro-actively seek to continue such funding streams and partnerships.

At the local level it is important that we have active eyes on the ground to see who might be falling through the cracks and NOT accessing these services, which is why local government is a key player in supporting the mental health of our community.

Do you support cat containment rules?

Eurobodalla Shire Council already has a cat ownership policy that states:
Responsible cat ownership means ensuring your cat is confined at night either indoors or in a cattery to prevent it from wandering.

The Eurobodalla Greens do believe that cats should be confined at night and that mandatory confinement should be imposed suburb by suburb following a show of support by residents.

Cats can pose such a threat to our wildlife both night and day, so we advocate for council to move progressively to a policy of cat containment that means owners must keep their cat on their premises 24 hours a day.

Do you support the building of a new Level 4 hospital for Eurobodalla?

The Eurobodalla Greens think that the best approach is to support the work done by the ONE – One New Eurobodalla Hospital group. They have ours and our communities strong support.

The building of a new hospital is a State government issue, but we will lobby for an early start. Council must remain engaged at all stages of planning and development of the hospital and maintain constact advocacy to NSW Health to ensure the hospital delivers Level 4 services to meet our community's needs.