CoRBA Melbourne believes that the lack of democratic processes in Melbourne council denies residents and businesses the opportunity to participate in the consultative process that all other Victorians enjoy.
Several factors are believed to contribute to this lack of consultative mechanisms:
- Electors in the City of Melbourne do not have Ward councillors
- Several communications channels have closed or been cut back in recent times
- Regular meetings with council committees have been curtailed or closed.
- Community reference groups have been disbanded
Under the guise of cost efficiencies, using on-line surveys, only Council-provided options are canvassed, and citizens with low computer skills or no computer are effectively barred from providing any input.
CoRBA states that for the Council to argue that such surveys deliver genuine community consultation is entirely inadequate.
Our rates are now funding new divisions within Council bureaucracy known as ‘Community Engagement’ and ‘Community Strengthening,’ just as there is outsourcing to independent panels who make recommendations about our city.
Nevertheless, CoRBA continues to find it increasingly difficult for the community to ‘engage’ at all.
CoRBA members met with CEO Dr. Kathy Alexander on Thursday 19th May 2011, presented their concerns and handed her this statement in hard copy..
CoRBA Community Engagement StatementCoRBA-CE-Statement-16051