Tag Archives: Empowering

Some Councils do empower their communities!

Monash Council has received ongoing criticism from its constituents for a lack of high level or meaningful engagement with the community.  In 2013 protesters against the sale of council owned residential aged care were told the Council bases its public participation on the IAP2 spectrum.  However, public scrutiny revealed only the lower levels of the spectrum are being used.  There have been repeated requests for collaboration and empowerment of the community.  This means involving the community in decision making.

Now Melbourne Melbourne City Council and Darebin Council have been involving their communities in decision making though Citizens Juries.  Through this process the community is involved in deciding where funds need to be spent and making recommendations on rate rises.  The success of the projects will ultimately depend on uptake of the Juries’ recommendations as final decisions are made.

People’s panel pitches in to advise Melbourne City Council where it should spend $5 billion
The Age Wednesday December 3 2014

Comparing the Citizen Jury process described in The Age on 3 December with the current 2014-15 budget decision process being used by Monash Council illustrates Monash Council’s low performance in community involvement.

That’s right the budget process for 2014-2015 is already underway – and – despite feedback on community involvement there have been no modifications to the process.

For further information see our previous post:
Council ignores public requests to improve consultation over budget

Rally 2013
Rally against Monash Council decision 2013
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Today’s Waverley Leader raises EM&U concerns: political trainees in local government & high rise development – what do YOU think?

Today’s Monash and Oakleigh Leader (2 Dec 2014) touches on two issues of concern to EM&U and the wider Monash community (see image of page at bottom of post).

The first is the relationship between political party membership and local government, generally and, more specifically here in Monash. The political activity of many of our Councillors during State and Federal elections is public and adds weight to the view that local government is a training ground for would be politicians.

Is this an issue? 
Did you know Local Government Councillors were members of political parties when you voted for them? 
Has your Ward been been left short due to your representative’s political interests?
Do career aspirants put the local people’s interests first?

Monash Councillor campaigning for State Election candidate Excerpt from Twitter 1 Dec 2014
Monash Councillor campaigning for State Election candidate Excerpt from Twitter 1 Dec 2014

The second is the inadequacy of the Glen Waverley Activity Centre Structure Plan Sept 2014 which paved the way for approval of the first of many high rise buildings.  This won’t stop in Glen Waverley – the Monash Housing Strategy 2014 opens the gates for the spread of development across Monash.

Would you  like to see change in local government?
Do you think the Glen Waverley Activity Centre Structure Plan needs revision?

Sick of doing NOTHING?  Here’s a few steps to empower YOU:

  • Follow this web site to keep up to date.  More articles on these concerns will appear here
  • Meet with members of EM&U  to find out what others are doing: Email EMonashU@gmail.com introducing yourself
  • Email monash@leadernews.com.au (letter to the editor) setting out your views
  • Write an article for this web site / blog.  EM&U welcomes guest authors.  Note while each author is responsible for their own views and there may be variance of viewpoints across articles, views need to be consistent with the values of this group generally, and specifically in regard to quality in local governance, quality in aged care and inclusivity.  Administrators of this site reserve the right to edit or refuse publication of articles not consistent with EM&U values.
Two major issues in Waverley Leader 2 Dec 2014
Two major issues in Waverley Leader 2 Dec 2014

 

council ignores public requests to improve consultation over budget

The community, as a major stakeholder in the budget, needs to be involved earlier in the process.

At tonight’s (28 Oct) Monash Council meeting the 2015/6 Budget and Council Plan Timetable is on the agenda.

The agenda and draft timeline are available online:

http://www.monash.vic.gov.au/reports/28oct2014.htm (agenda)

http://www.monash.vic.gov.au/reports/pdftext/cp28oct14/2.1-attachment.pdf (timeline)

The timeline allows for the public to put in submissions on the budget between 1 May and 31 May 2015.  This is inadequate.

This year only a small token change was made to the budget despite sound arguments for change being made in the submissions.

The community, as a major stakeholder in the budget, needs to be involved in the entire budget process.

As a constituent of Monash YOU can speak out by:
  • contacting your Local Councillors
  • emailing / writing / ringing Monash Oakleigh Leader monash@leadernewspapers.com.au
    Julia Rabar 9875 8054
    Emily Webb 9875 8257
    1 Chapel Street, Blackburn VIC 3130
  • make contact with other media
  • attending Council meetings & submitting questions to Public Question Time*

*Unfortunately, Monash Council is one of the few Councils with an archaic system requiring questions to be submitted the day before the meeting.  Other Councils allow you to submit just before the meeting e.g. Whitehorse City Council

The budget review process needs to include the community.

The Monash community has frequently requested the Council to involve, collaborate with and empower the community i.e. use the higher levels of the IAP2 Public Participation Spectrum http://www.iap2.org.au/documents/item/84

Monash Community protest 2013
Alienated community members resort to stopping the Mayor Geoff Lake at Brandon Park in an attempt to get the Council to listen 2013
The community, as a major stakeholder in the budget, needs to be involved in the entire budget process.

The budget review process needs to include the community.

Is volunteering empowerment?

Is volunteering empowerment?

no sale harik                                     Yes it is!

For many years I have volunteered my time on a variety of causes and with a variety of organisations. I have gained a wealth of knowledge in different areas, confidence and fulfillment, while at the same time making a difference in a community or people’s lives. Even if you are volunteering your time for a small cause you are still making a difference. An example of this was the campaign against the sale of Monash’s Aged Care facilities. This united volunteers from other communities and diverse backgrounds to help the Monash community fight a common cause. Empowerment was brilliantly shown during the campaign.

Recently I am volunteering my time to another project. It is a project to help gain awareness of a particular Neurological movement condition I suffer from called Dystonia. Despite my condition I have still managed to volunteer in a variety of areas. I am hoping that this project will raise more awareness in Australia.   A Dystonia awareness website and Blog will be running all thru September. This site has have info on Dystonia, stories of several sufferers, an awareness video, updates and events. If you want to help raise awareness please visit the site or provide link to other people.

Website and Blog

http://dystoniaawaresep.wix.com/dystoniaawaresep

Facebook and twitter page

https://www.facebook.com/dystoniaawarenesssmonthsep2104

https://twitter.com/Dystoniaaware2

I also encourage volunteers to share their experiences and their stories on volunteering. If you would like the opportunity to do this please contact EM&U.  If you would like to comment click on ‘leave a comment’ on the top.