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The Forum > Article Comments > Devolving power to those closest > Comments

Devolving power to those closest : Comments

By Mark Christensen, published 11/6/2019

What empowers people and nurtures a shared sense of purpose and belonging is individuals, business and community leaders working together, in good faith, on solutions that reflect local conditions.

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*…subsidiarity, the devolution of decision-making to the lowest practicable level…*

Well that I do start. Since when has the concept of “subsidiarity” travelled in a downward direction?

The power of local government to actually make useful and meaningful decisions applicable to a local population, is dead.

The State abuse of the land and environment court, stands as a classic example of State power willing and ready to overpower local decision making processes, and bend and manipulate outcomes diametrically opposed to the wishes of the local community abound.

What this author suggests is a fairytale of unachievables.

Of course, Local Governments also capitalise on their diminished responsibilities the overpowering processes of State Government affords, by negating responsibility of local Councils with a “ho hum, and I really wish I could help..but”.

And sadly for the bottom tier called the citizen, they are forced to subscribe to this undemocratic process, by ticking off a new breed of powerful money grabbers called real estate agents, disguised as your Local Government at council elections, at the threat of a fine for non-compliance.

There is no local voice in Council, it was always a weak presence, and will continue to erode with escalating property values, where the worth of the citizen is assessed on his power and degree of importance, culminating in the ultimate power of land developers and real estate agents.

As history continues to point out, oppression at the bottom, calls for revolution from the bottom.

Posted by diver dan, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 10:11:40 AM
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There is no evidence that our increasingly self-serving politicians are making a "concert push", or any push at all, towards by government 'by the people for the people'; just the opposite is true - and the dopey population isn't interested, thinking just voting will see us right.

Here we have a theorist writing about a theory, as we move further away from democracy.

Giving more power to a bunch of housewives and busybodies in local government is plain nuts
Posted by ttbn, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 10:22:34 AM
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Nothing sensible is impossible.
All or most government lacks adequate resources to operate properly as communities expect.
Increase in economic hardship inspires corruption.
Going backwards has to be changed to moving forward.
Perhaps PM Morrison will actually give individuals and business a fair go.
Posted by JF Aus, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 11:03:14 AM
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While I agree with the premise, not too sure I agree on how we restore power from whence it comes/came, to the people! And can't be done by conferring more power on those that want to wield it/take it from us!

And as they see their power (devolved) diminished or removed, will fight a (die in a ditch first) rearguard action to prevent it and by all available means to ensure their survival!

And they are ( roadblocks in the path of progress) state (Middleman) governments.

And because we are saddled with these 8 costly and entirely unnecessary 18th-century albatrosses, every child born here today is born with a debt burden already assigned to them!

We are burdened with far too many centralising collating Bearucrats and their generous salary entitlements and the ministers who probably couldn't run a chook raffle.

Moreover, these EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE appendages cost the Australian taxpayer 70 plus billions annually before a single service or amenity is provided via them and their fee for service paradigm! Able to be replaced by computer programs and algorithms? And a rationalised pro rata funding paradigm!?

If we use fully imported tech heads to rollout both, plus grant much more regional autonomy and a return to volunteer boards of a past era when we were the third wealthiest nation on the planet and a creditor one at that.

We have to stop these folk selling the country, (foreign investment) bite-sized chunks at a time. which makes us very much like warm and comfortable frogs slowly brought to the boil in a bowl of heated water.

[We just don't need to import this money and foreign ownership/control that comes with it, when we have a 2.5 trillion dollar super fund at our disposal! But only if we fully embrace cooperative capitalism! And debt free social credit!]

With our goose well and truly cooked before we cotton on to the deep deep do-do, we're in!
Alan B.
Posted by Alan B., Tuesday, 11 June 2019 11:46:45 AM
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I disagree entirely. Local government, [councils] are a catastrophe. Not only are the elected councillors either dills or criminals, the "B" grade bureaucrats they employ are not only incompetent, but are dictatorial with it.

The worst I have seen was some greenie ratbag coastal council in northern NSW decided to ban large glass doors or windows on the northern side of new houses. This to reduce power consumption & save the planet for gods sake. Obviously greens don't realise summer breezes are north east sea breezes.

The empire building is totally out of control. Some day a council will actually keep rate rises down to a couple of times the inflation rate, & we'll all be shocked. My rates, along with every one else in our area have gone from $680 a year to $3600 a year, a rise of well over double inflation rate.

Peter Beattie's amalgamation of councils has cost us a fortune, & destroyed any community of interest that existed. I have about as much in common with many in our shire as I have with the high rise people of central Sydney.

Reduce councils to small areas, with just a few thousand population, & we might get somewhere. And don't start with economies of scale. Every council after amalgamation had a huge & continuing spike in rates to cover whole ship loads of new middle management people on senior management salaries.

Community of interest is the first requirement to improve any community. The people living in Beenleigh, or the back block semirural areas of the Gold Coast have nothing in common with the highrise, tourist strip on the coast, & are unhappy paying for tourist facilities & advertising. Nothing will bring these differences together & they should not have been forced to join with them.

Now after the catastrophe of the commonwealth games, that sent so many almost broke, the clowns are talking Olympics for gods sake. This Self-aggrandizement by fool councillors, because with bigger councils they think they are someone must stop
Posted by Hasbeen, Wednesday, 12 June 2019 11:09:09 AM
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