Process must run its course
HAVING received serious criticism about some of its consultation processes it would appear unreasonable to condemn Sunshine Coast Council for the manner in which it is progressing to a decision on the future management of the Maroochy River mouth.
The council was overwhelmed by the amount of community angst over its plans to use rock to stabilise sand at the southern entrance and reacted by running a series of public forums and then establishing a committee from the community to consider formal submissions.
Former Deputy Prime Minister, Wayne Swan, a passionate advocate for retaining the existing geotextile groynes, may be right that several councillors have pre-determined views favouring rock and his own that the existing structures best suit the use the community makes of the area.
However the decision to delay until the new year the deadline for the committee’s final recommendations makes sense.
It’s understandable and respectful to give the overwhelming number of submissions full consideration so that the depth of opinion can be reflected in the committee’s report.
It is to be hoped that all councillors, including those who now may be of fixed view, show it equal respect in their final vote. It is to be hoped also they accept that there is a money value on what their ratepayers like which in terms of the status quo is not at all expensive to maintain.
Whatever the final vote the process to date has been robust.