Myths about Greens Endorsed Councillors

Myth 1 – “The Greens oppose everything”.

This statement is a popular catch-phrase when the Greens are seen to vote against a proposal which is also rejected by a majority of Councillors. i.e. someone didn’t get their way so blame the Greens.It is amazing that those people never take note of the fact that at least 5 Councillors are needed for a decision of Council to be supported or at least 5 Councillors for a recommendation to be refused.So what are the sorts of things Greens endorsed Councillors are likely to oppose?

  • Development applications THAT DO NOT COMPLY with the standards of the LEP and DCPs – it is NOT unreasonable to oppose these,
  • Development applications THAT REQUEST SIGNIFICANT VARIATIONS – it is NOT unreasonable to oppose these,
  • Recommendations THAT DO NOT REFLECT the basic principles such as social justice, ecological sustainability – it is NOT unreasonable to oppose these,
  • Recommendations THAT ARE NOT BACKED UP BY EVIDENCE- it is NOT unreasonable to oppose these.

The Greens have been consistent in their approach when assessing the recommendations put before them. They actually oppose very few recommendations if you take into account the total number of matters that come before the Council over a four year term.

It should be noted that all councillors vote to accept the Delegations Policy each year. This means that the vast majority of decisions of the council are made by staff with the support of Councillors, including any endorsed Greens Councillors.

Myth 2 – “Greens councillors are beholden to a political organisation somewhere else”.

Those that make this allegation should note that:

  • All councillors are bound by the Local Govt Act.
  • All councillors are bound by the Council’s Code of Conduct.
  • All councillors should respect the policies of Council and apply these policies consistently.

When it comes to decisions that require individual and subjective assessment, Greens councillors are likely to apply the following principles to decision making:

  • Social equity and economic justice.
  • Grassroots democracy and transparency in decision making.
  • Ecological sustainability.
  • Peace and non violence.

Councillors endorsed by the Kiama Greens for election to Council are NOT instructed to vote in any particular way on any matter. The constitution of Kiama Greens explicitly forbids this.

Councillors endorsed by the Kiama Greens for election to Council are NOT instructed to vote in any particular way by Greens NSW or any other group.

Elected Councillors often provide reports to Kiama Greens on the actions of Council related to matters that are in the public domain.

Elected Councillors are asked to act and behave in a manner that does not bring the Council into disrepute.

The history of Greens endorsed councillors elected to Kiama Council over the last 20 years has been one of commitment to the community, a respect for hard work and consistency in decision making.

Myth 3 – “The Greens have an electoral advantage as a political party”.

The only formal link to Greens NSW during Council elections is the requirement for nomination forms to be signed by the registered officer of Greens NSW.Kiama Greens raise all the funds needed to pay for a Council election campaign through hard work over the four years between elections. We do not accept donations from any organisations or companies.Kiama Greens have always prepared their own printed materials for Council elections and have it printed locally at their own expense. We do our own layout and pre-press work.Kiama Greens have always prepared their own advertising material for Council elections including design and pre-press work. We use 100% recycled paper.We pay for all of this material ourselves.Any letterboxing, pre-poll support and polling day support is carried out by volunteers.

Kiama Greens owns the internet domain name “kiamagreens.org.au” and manages its own website without support from Greens NSW.