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Community cabinet meetings

By Gungahlin Al 22 January 2008 26

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that PM Rudd has taken his new Cabinet out into the field for a community cabinet meeting.

When I was a councillor on the Sunshine Coast, we started holding council meetings in different towns around the Shire, taking community feedback as part of the process.

Then when my colleague Cr Peter Wellington got himself elected as an independent to the Qld State seat of Nicklin, he held the balance of power for 3 years, and convinced Peter Beattie to take his cabinet out into the community. The first stop of course was in the Nicklin town of Nambour (in my electorate), and it went over very well. So it’s fair to say I’m well disposed to pollies connecting with the community in this way.

All of this is my roundabout way of asking, if the PM were to bring his cabinet to Canberra, what questions would people like to see asked?

With my Gungahlin Community Council hat on, of course my question would be when will we see some action on Bob McMullan’s commitment to see a federal department or 2 based in Gungahlin?


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Community cabinet meetings
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Gungahlin Al 1:49 pm 24 Jan 08

Ah the sacred martial art of….Ekkythump!

Thumper 12:48 pm 24 Jan 08

I bought the complete Goodies.

More believable than the West Wing 😉

caf 12:45 pm 24 Jan 08

Heh, I finally succumbed and starting watching the West Wing a few days ago, just saw that episode too.

Gungahlin Al 10:30 am 24 Jan 08

Made me laugh Aurelius! Coincidentally we just last week watched that episode from our West Wing box set, as the current crop of TV viewing is so woeful we’ve started it again from the beginning.
If only the real people running the governments of the world were so sharp…

Aurelius 10:00 am 24 Jan 08

When these community cabinet meetings, and the bookings for appointments etc were announced, did anyone else hear Leo McGarry making the speech about a big block of cheese??

Fluges 8:38 pm 23 Jan 08

It’s the commercial operation behind this thing that I call the ‘Spivs’ because I listened to their ‘Campaign Director’ on radio and, boy, did he sound like a spiv. Several callers rang in to voice their, quite valid, concerns about the bridge and, as well as being dismissive, he was quite rude about it. I was left in no doubt that the main aim of the bridge was to line his pockets and that this was quite a commercial venture. It’s keeping him in a job, anyway.

I have emailed my concerns to him, but received no reply.

The bridge itself is quite a substantial built structure, with infrastructure at both ends, and it will impact significantly on the natural vista from all angles. They reckon it will be 12m high, 10m wide and have 14 pylons. It will dominate the landscape.

It will be covered in bird shit in no time. Have you ever been on any of the jetties on LBG? Pelicans do really big turds.

To see the well-considered concerns of just one group of LBG users, I refer you to the Letter to Members on the Canberra Yacht Club’s site:http://www.canberrayachtclub.com.au/.

There’s still a chance your mates may have done their dough. They only have ‘in-principle’ agreement from the NCA, and a final design has not been approved. With amazing arrogance, they have proceeded as if it has.

Millsy, if you want the equisite experience of crossing LBG by bridge, the I suggest you try Commonwealth or Kings Ave bridges, they’re both closer to the smelly water.

Millsy 10:04 pm 22 Jan 08

Who are the spivs? Not my mates.

Anyhow, I thought there had been public consultation through the Griffin Legacy unveiling. That’s how I heard about it in the first place.

I’m a local and I still like the idea.

Fluges 9:57 pm 22 Jan 08

And, Millsy, you haven’t seen much public opposition to the bridge ‘cos there has been NO PUBLIC CONSULTATION, the Spivs just set up a website and started collecting money with tacit approval from NCA. There is still no official approval and they’re still busy collecting money and the NCA has given them the wink that all will be OK, regardless of what the locals might think.

Millsy 9:56 pm 22 Jan 08

Fluges, thanks for clarifying your objection. Fair enough. But mate I don’t agree it will be an ugly eyesore or useless. I’ve seen the plans and I like them. I’d use the footbridge. You’ve probably got mates who hate it for the same reasons you outline. I’ve got mates who think its a top idea and have contributed to it.

Fluges 9:51 pm 22 Jan 08

Millsy, I’m not against any national symbolic memorial to immigration (there’s a perfectly good one at Circular Quay already, and I’m an immigrant meself, in 1959). I’m against this silly footbridge. It’s ugly and useless and won’t get used much. It’s 12m high, for God’s sake (that’s 40 feet), taller than Commonwealth Ave bridge. It’s gonna be a real eyesore and seriously effect the amenity of the lake for hundreds of users.

Millsy 9:38 pm 22 Jan 08

caf, you’re on the money. Planning is going to be a big issue for Canberra. Who’s responsible now the NCA’s had its numbers cut? Everyone better hope its not ACTPLA.

Fluges, ‘national things’ are important for Canberra too. Who are all the people who are opposed to immigration bridge? I’ve never seen much of it. I definitely support the idea.

Fluges 6:40 pm 22 Jan 08

GA, you asked what local issues, for which the Feds are responsible, I would like to see raised. Well, here’s one: http://www.immigrationbridge.com.au/. We need to draw the Fed’s attention to the extent of local community opposition to this folly. Rather than just our being able to write a letter to the Canberra Times, or make representations to the NCA, who’ll just tell you that they’ve already made up their minds and that it’s got nothing to do with the people of Canberra, it’s a ‘national thing’ so stick it up your jumper.

caf 6:14 pm 22 Jan 08

The formula doesn’t work that way, the number of MPs elected for the states will always be twice the number of senators for the states. The only way the total can go down (or up) without amending the Act is for the relative populations of the Territories to change significantly. (ie, if a State gets a new representative, it’s at the expense of another State. If a Territory does, it’s not). The next redetermination will see Queensland gaining one seat at the expense of NSW.

Gungahlin Al 5:19 pm 22 Jan 08

Good points caf – particularly the under-representation. I think CT mentioned today that Canberra has the highest proportion of people per MP of the whole country – around 112K vs average 90K? Although a number of states are over quota, the spread means that the next electoral redistribution will likely see the number of MPs nationwide actually reduce by one.
(Cue derisive comments about less pollies=no loss…)

On the validity of country cabinet meetings, I note this from today’s Crikey:

Suzanne Lappeman, political reporter, Gold Coast Bulletin, writes: Actually, the Gold Coast Bulletin goes to every community cabinet unless it is very, very difficult for us to get there….I shouldn’t speak for the other media organisations in the press gallery but I am never alone at these things. ABC radio is always there. Most of us were at Mt Isa for the most recent community cabinet a couple of months ago. Also, local media turn up and get good stories out of the meetings. These meetings are not boring and give the Queensland media a good insight into how local communities feel about issues.

caf 4:20 pm 22 Jan 08

I reckon there are two major ACT issues at the Federal level: The Federal Government getting behind the actions recommended in the ACT’s Future Water Options report, providing support for overcoming the cross-border issues therein; and the future of ACT planning and the NCA. Of secondary interest is the underrepresentation of ACT residents in the house of reps under the current formula.

hingo 4:02 pm 22 Jan 08

Its always funny to see Peter Garrett out there pretending he has a fucking clue.

Thumper 3:56 pm 22 Jan 08

One has to ‘register’ for these events.

As for Canberra, would McMullen be bothered turning up? Afterall, there’s not another election for three years.

Ralph 3:48 pm 22 Jan 08

They are stage-managed in the arrangements by necessity, but not in the content.

So a rousing standing ovation from the ‘audience’ and Rudd giving scripted answers is not stage managing the content?

Get off the grass.

These meetings are merely a ruse for proper consultation, with the audience being hand picked to not rouse too much rabble.

Can’t have the real people asking too hard questions. These things will quietly get tossed aside when they start getting to hard to ‘manage’, and the gerrymander of interest groups, like Cititzens Electoral Council, Gungahlin Community Council etc etc start infiltrating these things and stacking the audience.

Gungahlin Al 3:43 pm 22 Jan 08

While recognising the cabinet meets in Canberra all the time anyway, I was referring more to the idea of taking them outside Capital Hill and talking to residents themselves. It can and does work. They are stage-managed in the arrangements by necessity, but not in the content.

And if he wasn’t carefully managed the message, well we’d all be on here slagging off about incompetence wouldn’t we?

I remain interested in people’s thoughts on issues of relevance for Canberra residents that would be worth discussing with at least our local elected reps even if the cabinet never ‘came to town’…

Mr Evil 2:10 pm 22 Jan 08

Yes, but every spiral begins with a spin. 🙂

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