Newcastle Council destroys community trust in Local Government

Cartoon courtesy of Peter Lewis and the Newcastle Herald

Peter Lewis from the Hertald has once again captured the essential element of the Figs debate. Newcastle Council has not been transparent or open in their process for getting rid of the Figs. In doing so they have destroyed the trust of the community. In my opinion they are also acting against one of the objectives of the Local Government Act which is   ‘to encourage and assist the effective participation of local communities in the affairs of local government’.  

Quite amazing when you consider Newcastle Council had an offer from a community group to co-fund  an independent assessment of the figs. An offer which the Council rejected.  It seems the direct opposite of encouraging community participation.

The actions of Newcastle Council affect everyone in local government, not just those in Newcastle, in reducing community confidence in the capacity of local Councils to respond appropriately and adequately when questioned  over the robustness of the data they are relying on to make decisions.

James Ryan

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