In September 2019 a group of citizens met and formed A Better Eurobodalla (then known as Better Eurobodalla 2020) around shared values and principles that we believe are vital for effective local, state and federal government. These are:
- Integrity and honesty
- Transparency of process
- Open communication
That group of residents and ratepayers agreed that ABE would be formed as a community forum to engage broadly across our region. They nominated a small executive team of Bernie O’Neil and Brett Stevenson as Co-convenors and Deb Stevenson as Executive Officer. ABE has 3 working groups dealing with Communications, Research and Planning. As a forum rather than an incorporated body with formal membership, anyone is welcome to engage with ABE on issues important to our community.
In Eurobodalla we’re calling for:
- Open, accountable and responsive local, state and federal government.
- A council with a sustainable, practical vision that can cost-effectively meet the needs of residents and ratepayers.
- Local government that actively and accurately represents Eurobodalla residents’ interests to state and federal government.
- Councillors who genuinely listen; who tackle key issues of concern and urgency and who safeguard the interests of all of us.
Some ABE supporters belong to political parties and other community organisations, but ABE is non-aligned and working across existing groups to improve how Eurobodalla shire is governed. We are driven by shared values.
We’re not a campaign team but a forum, where issues of importance can be shared and understood. ABE is not intending to stand candidates for local government election.
During COVID ABE has not held regular meetings, but if you would like to be involved in ABE please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What ABE is doing
Currently ABE is considering what issues are of importance in Eurobodalla leading up to the NSW State election in March 2023. AS candidates become known we will ascertain the implications of candidates’ positions for our region. We will publish candidates’ profiles and other relevant information. The Tuross Head Progress Association is planning to hold a Candidates’ Forum and ABE will publish details of that event.
With the local government election held on 4 December 2021, ABE’s approach was to look at Council’s policies and strategies, critique their implementation against our stated principles and share the results with the community. ABE is a continuing community forum advocating for the rights and concerns of Eurobodalla residents and ratepayers beyond the 2021 election and is monitoring the new Council’s progress against principles of good governance.
A Better Eurobodalla has asked members of the community what’s important to them. We’ve attended local events and public meetings and ran structured ‘kitchen table’ conversations to understand ratepayers’ and residents’ concerns. The postponement of the local government elections from 2020 to September 2021 meant that we looked broadly at the governance around issues that affect the Eurobodalla across all levels of government, such as:
How governments are responding to the impacts of the 2019-20 bushfires… are continuing relief efforts getting through to the people who need it?
Is Eurobodalla Shire Council asking community what their needs are, how well is Council conducting and responding to community consultation, and are ongoing governance issues (e.g. transparency, informed decision making) being addressed.
Is climate change being treated seriously?
Is the state government meeting its promises to the region in areas such as health care (the promised Level 4 Hospital) and transport.