15 – Democracy & Social Cohesion

As the Independent Member for Robertson I will, like Council, strive to consciously build greater levels of social cohesion and community participation in our democracy, with higher levels of democratic understanding and practice throughout the citizenry, including the introduction of structures and protocols designed to enable local precinct freedoms to act, and express opinions.

Elements/Actions:

15.1 Local Community Engagement

15.1.1 I commit to Genuinely engage with the local communities of the Central Coast. This includes forums, small and larger, discussions, surveys and meetings. As well I will advocate using new technologies such as secure online voting on issues of community importance using systems such as those advocated by flux.org using verifiable blockchain technologies.

15.2 Central Coast Council:

AS THE INDEPENDENT MEMBER FOR ROBERTSON I WILL BE KEEN TO JOIN WITH, AND SUPPORT, THE COUNCIL’S EFFORTS TO CONSULT AND DEMOCRATISE DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES INVOLVING THE BROADER COMMUNITY. IN THE EVENT THAT CC COUNCIL IS UNABLE, OR UNWILLING, TO ENGAGE IN THE MANNER DESCRIBED BELOW, THEN I UNDERTAKE TO INITIATE MUCH OF WHAT IS ADVOCATED [BELOW].

15.2.1 Council will, specifically, employ 3 levels of consultation, wherever possible, to engage the community in participatory processes on matters of public importance:

* frequent use of established community organisations including consultations with

   indigenous and multicultural organisations, and especially with existing and active

 ‘umbrella’ organisations such as Progress Associations, for precinct-level consultation.

* establishment of precinct advisory committees where community-wide groups are not

   already established, and frequent use of them for consultative purposes

* maintenance and strengthening of Council’s advisory support using a committee structure.

15.2.2 Council will seek to inform and train, precinct by precinct, communities to use reserved public lands for organised and agreed public purposes such as: vegetable and flower gardening; recreation; animal exercise; wildlife rehabilitation; bees and small bird habitat regeneration, etc.

15.2.3 Council will engage diverse sectors of the Coast community in a consultation with the purpose of identifying the special aspirations of each group within the goal of bringing Australians together

15.2.4 Council will undertake/commission research, in collaboration with civil society on the Central Coast, to identify experiences, policies, and any other barriers to the achievement of social cohesion.

15.2.5 Council will conduct events designed to emphasise both aspects of Australian multiculturalism: bringing Australians together while celebrating multicultural differences within Australia

15.2.6 Council will set multicultural protocols for Council’s relationship with disparate groups.

15.2.7 Council will conduct multicultural forums designed to identify events which draw people of disparate backgrounds together to Celebrate Difference and enjoy joint and integrated activities.

15.2.8 Council will encourage organisations and groups to welcome all newcomers to the Central Coast

15.2.9 Council will conduct regular Cultural Orientation Forums for relatively recent immigrants to Central Coast with the purpose of introducing them to Australian, and more local, customary behaviours when driving or walking or shopping or spectating or while in an audience, safe behaviour and places, dangerous behaviour and areas, anything designed to make understandings more complete.  

15.3 NSW Government

AS THE INDEPENDENT MEMBER FOR ROBERTSON I WILL BE KEEN TO JOIN WITH, AND SUPPORT, THE STATE GOVERNMENT’S EFFORTS TO CONSULT AND DEMOCRATISE DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES INVOLVING THE BROADER COMMUNITY. INCLUDING PROMOTING OPENING UP OF PUBLIC DATA FOR THE USE BY THE PUBLIC IN EDUCATION AND DECISION MAKING. I WILL ALSO SUPPORT RESEARCHING NEW FORMS OF GENUINE DEMOCRATIC ENGAGEMENT.

15.4 Federal Government

AS THE INDEPENDENT MEMBER FOR ROBERTSON I WILL BE KEEN TO JOIN WITH, AND SUPPORT, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S EFFORTS TO CONSULT AND DEMOCRATISE DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES INVOLVING THE BROADER COMMUNITY. INCLUDING PROMOTING OPENING UP OF PUBLIC DATA FOR THE USE BY THE PUBLIC IN EDUCATION AND DECISION MAKING. I WILL ALSO SUPPORT RESEARCHING NEW FORMS OF GENUINE DEMOCRATIC ENGAGEMENT.