While this Council is talking about setting up companies to develop land I want to talk the region about ensuring our sustainable development future.
If elected Mayor I consider one of the most important actions that Council could immediately take would be to establish a Sustainable Region Advisory Committee.
An Advisory Committee under s 265 of the Local Government Regulation is a Committee of Council that can include members who are not Councillors.
The Committee would therefor consist of residents, representatives from community organisations, Council Officers and two Councillors.
The Sustainable Region Advisory Committee would share information, discuss issues, promote community awareness and advises Council on its strategies, policies and programs on sustainability specifically related to climate change, waste, water and water sensitive urban design, sustainable buildings, wildlife habitat and open space.
The Sustainable Region Advisory Committee would advise and assist Moreton Bay Regional Council in developing and monitoring policies, programs and projects designed to address the environmentally sustainability of our region.
I don’t expect the 13 people elected to the next Council to have all the ideas and solutions to the problems created over the past 12 years.
I’m looking towards mechanisms to get the community involved in its Council and for allowing the experts in.
The purpose for establishing any Advisory Committees to the Moreton Bay Regional Council will be to inform Council decisionmaking by:
Providing formal pathways for community input;
Providing regular, formal feedback to Council; and
Facilitating formal networks and communication between Council and selected stakeholders.
Committees are one way Council engages with community to obtain local input, expertise and participation to inform planning and decision making.
This Advisory Committee in particular will;
Provide a forum for high-level aspects of environmental sustainability;
Respond to Council initiated issues with advice, feedback and recommendations;
Bring up issues of community concern that the Committee feels Council should know about or take a role in;
Provide advice and comment on frameworks and priorities for the implementation of sustainable development strategies and programs by Moreton Bay Regional Council;
Share information and provide advice to Council on Council and community activities relating to sustainable development, identifying opportunities for ongoing sustainable development programs and projects;
Promote community awareness and support for opportunities and actions required to achieve sustainable development in the region;
Assist Council to engage the local community, organisations, stakeholders and networks in sustainable development projects and initiatives;
Advise Council on processes, structures and programs that should be implemented to further sustainable development in the community.
As I said previously this would be an important step towards shifting the focus onto a sustainable future and also addressing many of the issues created by the overdevelopment of the past.