In February of 2020 a number of local people who have helped CCO over the past almost six years got together and generated a number of key manifesto points we believe were needed to bring back to Coffs Harbour a more open, transparent, representative Council.
A Council that shows it not only listens but learns. A council for the whole LGA, not just bits of it.
Below are three things we generated then, believe are even more important now and which we believe are urgent to start such a much needed transition to a better Council.
(1) An independent forensic audit of the CHCC be carried out by any new Council.
(2) A promise to ensure Council resources are reassigned so as to focus on the broader Council area.
(3) Ensure complete ‘answer-ability’ to elected representatives by the CHCC Executive.
The independent audit.
We believe this should be done by NSW Audit Office on request. Failing that then a reputable organisation such as Coopers Lybrand or similar but not someone used by Council previously, for the sale/long term lease of the airport for example.
We believe any such forensic audit should include Coastal Works as they are attached to CHCC via the books. And the audit should be not just a financial audit, but also be an audit of management and operations over the previous five to six years.
Broader allocation of resources over the wider LGA.
Council needs to focus not just on the CBD, which we believe the current Council has done too much of, but also look after and plan for the wider LGA, North, West and South.
We would actually be in favour of a Ward System being re-introduced for the 2024 Council elections so as to enforce this on an ongoing basis. The geographic areas highlighted above, all potential ‘wards, have struggled to get essential services at times over the past five years.’
Ensure Executive genuinely answers to the elected Council.
We believe an organisational review of Council needs to be carried out. Especially a review of both the structure and operating procedures of the GM’s office and and also the Division Head’s offices as well as their job descriptions.
The General Manager’s Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) should be written in the first instance by Councillors so as to underpin strategy with input and feedback from the GM and the HR office.
We believe this may especially be important in light of any relevant findings from Point One above, the independent financial and organisational audit.
We are aware there are many more issues Council will have to deal with and form coalitions around so as to progress them. For example we strongly believe Waste Management needs to be turned from a weakness to a strength and an opportunity by the new Council and is an area the current Council has failed on.
This is why we have kept the list tight but potentially capable of enabling much needed reform if enacted.
It’s up to you now candidates – what do you say?
We ask candidates to respond.
Early next week we will publish the names of those who agree to the above. We will do so with a view to it informing your vote.