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Revealing 666 talkback: yep, that “consultation” is cynical bull****

I-filed 21 April 2012 22

Caller to 666 talkback this morning outlined what we’ve sort of known, but have never had quite such firm evidence.

Caller lives near a small park in Chisholm. He said that the local residents were invited to contribute their thoughts on a proposal to develop the park with residential accommodation to a website (ACT Govt used to use Bang The Table, not sure whether they still do), and he and neighbours contributed their firm opinion that they’d like it to remain a park.

Caller maintained that he and several other residents had also written to the Government voicing same. He was astonished when the consultant’s report on the “consultancy” stated that there was “no opposition” to the plan and that residents are in favour.

The neighbourhood was so confronted by this lie that they organised a meeting in the park. NINETY folk showed up – and he said that was ninety signed-up adults, and the figure does not include children who were brought along. Caller said they are unanimous in their opposition, and many had already voiced this to the “consultation”.

ACT Government have managed to wriggle away from complaints so far about their fake consultations. I’d like to see their defence this one, which sounds pretty clear-cut and a case of dishonesty.


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22 Responses to
Revealing 666 talkback: yep, that “consultation” is cynical bull****
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EvanJames 12:58 pm 23 Apr 12

“Consultations” are the bit they tack on. They scope out the project, get it rolling, have a time-line and a budget… the consulatation at best is a chance for them to guauge where the main sticking-point will be, what will be opposed the strongest and what the objections are. They never have the slightest intention of making major changes or actually not continuing with it.

Usually though, consultation is just a box to tick along the way. They’re already proceeding when the consultation phase closes.

Yes it’s a joke, they think we’re stupid and will continue to play along.

madamcholet 9:46 am 23 Apr 12

tommy said :

Really you have to treat ‘consultation’ as the ability to voice your opinion in an organised manner as part of the greater process. If you are betting the farm that ‘consultation’ is a popularity poll or a vote, then probably going to be disappointed in those kind of processes.

A while back I had some brief consultation with ACT Govt about a foot path going down our street, a few people said they didn’t want the foot path. Everyone still got a foot path in front of their house. For those who engaged with the consulting, we got the storm water run off issues fixed at the same time and a refreshed driveway (the verge bit not the whole lot).

Do you live in my street? Doesn’t affect me as I ive on a side of my street that has not got a new footpath, however what I see as I drive past is that residents park on it illegally and block pedestrian access, meaning that they have to walk on the road to get around all the vehicles. Previously the paved area was a nature strip where cars could be easily parked. Good move.

rosscoact 10:46 pm 22 Apr 12

Was there a consultant or was it done in house?

Sepi brings up a good point though. 30 responses, mostly negative, Antony Green would call an election on that basis.

I-filed said :

rosscoact said :

In this case I would assume that the comments listed in the report (with the majority being negative) didn’t match up with the conclusion or government response to the comments. It’s probably a case of the person preparing the report didn’t translate the tenor of the responses into a call for more community engagement.

A relatively minor bureaucratic failure albeit with more significant consequences rather than some conspiracy to thwart the good people of Chisholm.

Just sayin

Without the podcast it’s hard to be sure, but I think the 666 caller said that he and several neighbours had been in touch with the government AND had also contributed to the online discussion. So the “bureaucrat” was negligent and the report was inaccurate, if that’s the case. Or – did the consultant delete some submissions?

sepi 9:35 pm 22 Apr 12

It is hard to motivate people to write letters. 30 letters against the units being built over a park does not sound like much, but I bet they did not get 30 letters form local residents supporting the idea of losing their park to apartments.

I-filed 8:29 pm 22 Apr 12

rosscoact said :

In this case I would assume that the comments listed in the report (with the majority being negative) didn’t match up with the conclusion or government response to the comments. It’s probably a case of the person preparing the report didn’t translate the tenor of the responses into a call for more community engagement.

A relatively minor bureaucratic failure albeit with more significant consequences rather than some conspiracy to thwart the good people of Chisholm.

Just sayin

Without the podcast it’s hard to be sure, but I think the 666 caller said that he and several neighbours had been in touch with the government AND had also contributed to the online discussion. So the “bureaucrat” was negligent and the report was inaccurate, if that’s the case. Or – did the consultant delete some submissions?

Thumper 6:11 pm 22 Apr 12

And , I should have added, this is an ALP that simply cannot lose government, due to the Green vote, as the Greens will never support the tories.

They, the ALP, can do anything they want.

They don’t care about you.

Simple as that.

Thumper 6:09 pm 22 Apr 12

Consultation?

Think school closures.

rosscoact 4:34 pm 22 Apr 12

It does happen a lot that people don’t care/don’t see the relevance/are too pre-occupied with living until some publicity happens around the thing that they ignored in the first place.

In this case I would assume that the comments listed in the report (with the majority being negative) didn’t match up with the conclusion or government response to the comments. It’s probably a case of the person preparing the report didn’t translate the tenor of the responses into a call for more community engagement.

A relatively minor bureaucratic failure albeit with more significant consequences rather than some conspiracy to thwart the good people of Chisholm.

Just sayin

I-filed 1:14 pm 22 Apr 12

rosscoact said :

30 out of 3000 yt 90 turn up to a protest?

It would appear that apathy does have a cost

Not at all. Easy to tweak anything online. How was it promoted? Did they leaflet the neighbourhood letting them know the consultation was on? Or did they put a tiny notice on the ACT Government website somewhere, at the top of the page for a day or so until the next notice? If 90 showed up to a protest, that means, for sure, that the figure of 30 responses online is a joke.
This reeks of “tick the box” and absolutely no motivation to get the true story from the residents. Massive fail, Andrew!

rosscoact 12:31 pm 22 Apr 12

30 out of 3000 yt 90 turn up to a protest?

It would appear that apathy does have a cost

miz 11:21 am 22 Apr 12

I submitted an strong objection to the development – even though I live on the other side of Simpson’s Hill, there are few parks in Chisholm you can walk to from my street and my kids have often gone over the hill to that park. Gone are the days when kids could play on school playgrounds, as they are all locked up a/h now.
i think it’s pathetic to say ‘we only got x amount of responses’. They should be looking at the issues properly and not just saying, ‘oh that would be the responsibility of Roads ACT, the police, etc’ to justify why people should accept their short sighted and money-grubbing plans.

Snout 9:31 am 22 Apr 12

666 ABC dont podcast the “ask the Chief Minister” segment.

PantsMan 5:41 pm 21 Apr 12

We’ll get consulted in October.

I-filed 5:05 pm 21 Apr 12

housebound said :

sepi said :

consultation = announcement to the ACT govt.

Spot on. At least in an election year they have a chance:
Community outcry delays sale of Chisholm block

I hope they realise it’s only a delay. Put Barr and friends back in, and the block is gone.

Interesting quasi admission from Andrew “Hates History, Hates Gardens” Barr that his government engages cr*p consultancies and pays our money for them. Thank goodness 666 runs its Friday morning “ask the Chief Minister”. They need to start podcasting it, because most Canberrans are working while it’s broadcast. (If it IS podcast, let me know, as if so I can’t find it!)

housebound 4:27 pm 21 Apr 12

sepi said :

consultation = announcement to the ACT govt.

Spot on. At least in an election year they have a chance:
Community outcry delays sale of Chisholm block

I hope they realise it’s only a delay. Put Barr and friends back in, and the block is gone.

Bramina 3:48 pm 21 Apr 12

I-filed said :

Spot on. Interesting though that a bunch residents in Dickson – some of whom were town planning and public relations professionals – managed to get a development completely kyboshed. Perhaps those winners might be kind enough to give those concerned Chisholm people some guidance on how to win against the developers? Clearly it can be done if the right skills and noise are brought to bear.

The problem with interest groups is that they are pushing their interests, and not those of society at large.

Consultations just give them another way of politicking the system, giving them vindication for being the loudest, and pissing them off when they are ignored.

tommy 3:10 pm 21 Apr 12

Really you have to treat ‘consultation’ as the ability to voice your opinion in an organised manner as part of the greater process. If you are betting the farm that ‘consultation’ is a popularity poll or a vote, then probably going to be disappointed in those kind of processes.

A while back I had some brief consultation with ACT Govt about a foot path going down our street, a few people said they didn’t want the foot path. Everyone still got a foot path in front of their house. For those who engaged with the consulting, we got the storm water run off issues fixed at the same time and a refreshed driveway (the verge bit not the whole lot).

sepi 3:02 pm 21 Apr 12

consultation = announcement to the ACT govt.

On this one they have said that only 1 % of the suburb were not in favour, so they are steaming ahead.

They base this on having sent out 3000 flyers about the consultation, and getting only 30 letters back in opposition.

Most of the flyers probably went in the bin with the other junk mail, but that is not their problem.

M0les 2:59 pm 21 Apr 12

Publish a petition.

madamcholet 2:55 pm 21 Apr 12

Maybe the Libs might wake up and get on board? They let the letter to the Canberra Times that also appeared on RA float off into the ether this week so wouldn’t hold out any hopes.

It’s usually a lack of an opposition that keeps a government in office. And no different here. Until they change leaders to someone who can click with the electorate – something Zed hasn’t done.

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