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.
- Candidates for the 2021 local government election 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.
ABE meets regularly to discuss a work program and reports on activities from working groups. Currently we are meeting monthly on Sunday afternoon at the Red Door Hall in Moruya. If you would like to attend or be involved in a working group please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What ABE is doing
Currently ABE is working on the Bega by-election to understand the implications of candidates’ positions for our region. We will publish candidates’ profiles and will facilitate a Candidates’ Forum for the Tuross Head Progress Association. The forum is at 6pm on 31 January 2022 at Kyla Hall, Tuross Head. Covid restrictions apply.
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 will be a continuing community forum advocating for the rights and concerns of Eurobodalla residents and ratepayers beyond the 2021 election and will be 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 means we are looking 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… is relief getting through to the people who need it?
Is Eurobodalla Shire Council asking community what their needs are and how well is Council conducting and responding to community consultation
Is climate change being treated seriously?
What does Covid-19 mean for our region and are our health services adequate to deal with the challenges ahead?