COMMUNITY CONSULTATION CONCERNS

Yesterday Council adopted the Xanthostemon Chrysanthus, commonly known as the Golden Penda as the floral emblem for the region which in my opinion is a worthy choice.

Having said that, it was not what the majority of community submitters who responded to Council’s survey asked for which is the reason why I voted against the motion to adopt it.

Between 27th September 2013 to 18th October Council called for public submissions to identify the most suitable emblem. Those responses were shortlisted by the Group to three species which obviously met the Group’s preferred criteria. Again, the community was consulted and asked to choose between these three.

Between 18th December & 31st January 317 members of the public made the effort to respond to a final survey with the following submissions received:

Eureka Bottlebrush     133
Golden Penda             116
Ivory Curl                      68

From a personal point of view, either one of these would be acceptable however Council resolved to adopt the second choice (Golden Penda) which leaves me wondering why it bothered with the consultation process in the first place.

I’m aware that there are times when Council considers community feedback on various subjects and occasionally rejects a majority ‘vote’ for various reasons which may not be initially apparent to a submitter such as ongoing maintenance costs, etc . However in this case, it was the Advisory Group itself which shortlisted the submissions as being suitable and put three species back out for public consideration which would indicate to me that the final decision was going to be made by the community.

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