Sunshine Coast residents will come together with experts to discuss - Donations and other Dangers to our Democracy - this Thursday 1 March from 6pm at Lake Kawana Community Centre.
The free community event, hosted by Sunshine Coast Environment Council and Environmental Defenders Office Queensland, will see expert guests discuss how political donations or conflicts of interests are affecting local communities.
SCEC spokesperson Narelle McCarthy said: “As President of the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and Mayor of the Sunshine Coast, Cr Mark Jamieson has the platform to help progress reforms recommended by the Belcarra Inquiry and the draft legislation to implement them.
“It is evident that developer influence on local government decision-making on the Coast and other regions is a serious, widespread issue impacting our democratic space and needs to be urgently addressed.
“As the peak body for local government, the LGAQ has a duty to the community to take these findings on board and to act constructively to restore confidence in the accountability of our local councils and elected representatives.”
EDO Qld solicitor Revel Pointon said: “Queenslanders need to be able to rely on decision makers to make decisions in the best interests of the State, not their own back pockets.
“Between the failings in transparency and accountability in local governments and elections exposed by Operation Belcarra and last year’s Four Corners investigation ‘All that Glitters’ exposing allegations of developer donations – democratic, accountable governance is under serious threat in Queensland.
“This forum will provide space for the community to discuss their concerns about failings in democratic process, transparency and accountability in governance with experts focused on these issues.
“We will be discussing the need for stronger laws around political donations and the revolving door between industry and government, to protect our democratic process and ensure quality decision making processes free of inappropriate influence.”
A Q&A will also be held with speakers, who are:
- Cameron Murray – Senior Economist at The Australia Institute, academic and author of ‘Game of Mates: How favours bleed the nation’;
- Revel Pointon – Law Reform Solicitor, Environmental Defenders Office Queensland;
- Greg Smith, President OSCAR (Organisation Sunshine Coast Association of Residents): and
- Melva Hobson, Secretary OSCAR and former Mayor of Redlands – The peak Sunshine Coast community organisation, dedicated to achieving transparent and accountable governance on the Sunshine Coast.
Entry is free. RSVP at edoqld.org.au/DangersToDemocracy or phone 07 3211 4466.