The Bunbury community has slammed the Bunbury City Council in an extensive public consultation saying the council is holding the city back while neighbouring shires prosper.
The results of the ‘Bunbury 2030 — your city, your say’ project, leaked this weektothe SouthWestern Times, concluded there was a lack of public support of the council and/or belief in the city’s leadership.
After three months of surveys, online forums, polls and community workshops — costing the council almost $46,000 — Perth-based independent consultant Beyond IQ has summarised the public consultation in a confidential report to the council.
The report— compiled from about 2000 submissions— contains a number of community concerns including the council’s relationship with the State Government, which was cited as the reason the city was not prospering, and the perception that ‘‘nothing ever happens in Bunbury due to council’’.
Other comments suggested people felt the council’s decisions were madeinthe vestedinterests ofthe few rather than the community.
The consultant noted this perception ‘‘pervades the community and has led to a lack of trust in the city’s leadership’’ and some comments had suggested the appointment of an internal ombudsman.
Mayor David Smith said the consultant’s report was flawed and, given only 16 people commented on the issue of council leadership, he disagreed with the interpretation of the public’s comments.
‘‘There was a relatively low number of responses all up and in an internet forum — and teachers would appreciate this — people feel freer with comments because they are made anonymously,’’ Mr Smith said.
‘‘The low response level may be an indication that the vast majority of people think the council is doing a good job and they don’t feel the need to arc up.
‘‘I certainly hope that is the case.’’