Community discontent over Monash Council’s engagement of stakeholders looks likely to continue as allocation of funds for 2014/15 budget nears.
Protesters against the sale of aged care residences were clear in their requests for Council to operate at higher levels of the IAP2 Spectrum i.e. Collaborate and Empower. The Council has adopted the IAP2 but is operating at the lower levels i.e. Inform and Consult.
Responses to a Public Question at the Council meeting 25 February (see example of question and response – image below) reinforces the Council’s intent to continue existing practices. Public Information Sessions and lodging Submissions are not participating in the decision making processes including identifying the preferred solution. Of further concern is the lack of attention some Councillors admitted to giving the public submissions against the sale of aged care presented to Council on 2 September 2013. Will these Councillors give public submissions on the budget any more attention?
The upcoming budget planning will include allocation of $m14.5 net return on the sale of aged care residences and $m7.2 discretionary funds tagged for aged care. Little attention has been given to the land the community lost in Mulgrave when the aged care residences were sold. The Community has every right to be involved in the planning of what the funds from the sale of their assets, the land and aged care residences, and other funds should be used for.
The Council has indicated Public Information Sessions about the budget will be held in May. Be involved! You may attend Council meetings before then and ask a question in Public Question Time (until April 2014 the Public may ask questions on any items. After April it is possible questions will once more need to be related to the Minutes of the previous meeting or the Agenda*).
Empowering Monash & YOU members will be in the Monash Council Public Gallery for meetings on: 25 March 2014 and 29 April 2014. Join us there!