OUR SAY: Trust the faces out there

A QUESTION came up at the weekend's community consultation meeting in Maclean that made me think:

Who would we trust to enact the plans being discussed?

Straight away the grumbles around the table started. No-one trusts politicians now, do they?

But slowly, a few names popped out. People who had stuck their neck out in the community and fought for something. Whether it was organising festivals or just raising money. People like Bob McPherson came up in the conversation. My mind sprang immediately to Jim Agnew, who fought so hard for the Lower Clarence community health. People trusted him to get the job done, and by hook or by crook, he succeeded.

Each mentioned were the faces of each issue. The ones out in the community not just asking the questions, but listening. Not just standing at the pulpit, but actively seeking the people.

And to their credit, that extends to the people asking the questions in that room as well.

There was no shortage of irony in the fact that many people were complaining about the lack of community consultation at a community consultation meeting, but often at times the perception far outweighs the actual situation, and having council people actively seek out information is a good start.

Thankfully, this consultation reached out to people out in the community in shopping centres and other locations, and gathered hundreds of opinions that we're told will also shape the next 10-year plan. It wouldn't hurt for some of the things mentioned in the short term to become tangible, and help turn a perception around for the community.

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