BARR’S SLAP DOWN: CHIEF MINISTER TELLS US WHAT HE REALLY THINKS OF CANBERRA’S COMMUNITY COUNCILS

Today the Canberra Liberals will lead a Legislative Assembly debate on the importance of the ACT’s regional community councils. These councils play a vital role promoting democracy and citizenship in Canberra, Member for Brindabella Nicole Lawder said today.

“It was disappointing to hear Andrew Barr discredit the community councils in recent Assembly Annual Reports hearings where he claimed they were unrepresentative. It’s a put down to the members of these councils who volunteer their time and energy standing up for their region of the ACT,” Ms Lawder said.

Andrew Barr, Public Accounts Committee Hearing, 4 November 2015 – “The idea that a community council is in any way representative, given that most of the attendees are of one particular gender in some councils and, again, way out of connect with the demographic distribution of people living in particular regions…”

“Community Councils play a fundamental role in promoting and engaging in grassroots democracy. I can speak for the members of the Tuggeranong Community Council for whom I deal with regularly; they are proud advocates for the community.

“Mr Barr’s position is also highly hypocritical given the government provides resources for the councils.

“The Canberra Liberals believe in greater representation and the vital role of community councils, which is why we’re bringing on this Matter of Public Importance (MPI) debate today. It’s disappointing Andrew Barr and his government don’t share the same view,” Ms Lawder concluded.