Community consultation – why it’s important

Ed, The photo I have included demonstrates the sorry saga of the poor community consultation regarding a 162 lot subdivision development application in Iluka. This A4 piece of paper flapping in the breeze and about to blow away, represents “community consultation” for a development that will significantly change Iluka forever! As readers may be aware, it was community outrage that ultimately forced council and the developers to extend the consultation period from January 22 to February 12 after advertising this development application on Christmas eve. Apparently this is called “due process” but many saw through this as a cynical exercise to “slip” the development through relatively unnoticed. Going back to that “piece of paper” – We notified Council about 5 days after the document had expired, that it was out of date. We also commented on the fact that one had to get down on hands and knees to actually read the document! On the 6th day, Council staff replaced the A4 page with a new date reflecting the new submission deadline. But still 20cm off the ground. And obviously not securing it very well under the clear protective sheet! Quite rightly many in the community are outraged by this complete disregard for any community consultation process, and this paper to some degree, represents this appalling lack of community engagement. This is not good enough. Fortunately, filling the void are a motivated group of young Ilukan families who have produced a facebook page “Iluka DA Have Your Say” and a website (www.ilukadahaveyoursay.info/) and a flyer that has been letterbox dropped to try and reach the community that the developer and council so sadly avoided! These people are the new generation of Ilukans, and their young children who will be here into the future and care about Iluka’s future. I urge concerned people to take a look at the information provided on the website and Facebook page (which offers suggestions on how to write a submission) and write a submission if you have concerns, otherwise this will go ahead with no community input. AIR and the “Iluka DA Have Your Say” group ask the developer and the Council to conduct an inclusive community meeting so that a satisfactory outcome can be achieved that we can all be proud of, into the future. Tony Belton, President Association of Iluka Residents (AIR)