Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

BUDGET BOYCOTT: 'Gloves Are Off' Council Is 'Disconnected' from the Community; Tensions Boil over after 'Lack of Action'

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

BUDGET BOYCOTT: 'Gloves Are Off' Council Is 'Disconnected' from the Community; Tensions Boil over after 'Lack of Action'

Article excerpt

Byline: Elyse Wurm

A GROUP of Southern Downs residents has slammed the council's budget consultation call-out, saying it would boycott the "pointless" process.

The Southern Downs Residents Action Group has decided not to participate in consultation on the 2018--19 draft budget, claiming councillors have rarely acted on past submissions.

Secretary Andrew Gale said gone were the days when councillors represented the community at the council.

He said the elected officials were now disconnected and represented the council instead.

Mr Gale claims a sitting councillor told him a previous submission he made during a consultation period was impossible because the budget was "set in stone" month s earlier. "I was pretty excited when we had this opportunity to consult a couple of years ago and it's really disappointing when you find out that things that you've gone to a lot of time to prepare can't be done," he said.

Mr Gale called on the council to be more open and transparent and conduct public consultation at the time the budget was being put together, rather than providing "lip service" and no action. …

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