Myths about the Greens and Kiama Council

Myth 1 – The Greens oppose everything.

Sometimes this statement is trotted out 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 these 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 that the Greens endorsed Councillors might 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 Environmental Planning and Assessment Act provides the opportunity for refusing a matter because it is “not in the public interest”.
The Greens have been consistent in their approach to 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 Contact.
    • All councillors should respect the policies of Council and apply these policies consistently

and so what then ….
When it comes to decisions that require individual and subjective assessment, Greens councillors are likely to apply these 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. Kiama Greens constitution explicitly forbids this as does the Local Government Act which forbids caucusing.
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 the local group 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 30 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 because they are a political party”

One formal link to the Greens NSW during Council elections is the legislated requirement for nomination forms to be signed by the registered officer of the Greens NSW.

The second is a consequence of the new Electoral Funding legislation that requires all Greens groups in NSW to be seen as a single entity for the purposes of election funding. This rule applies to any political party.

Neither of these formal links can be seen as an advantage. In fact the second makes many things more complex for local groups which previously managed their own post election financial returns without having to deal with another layer of bureaucracy.

Kiama Greens raise all the funds needed to pay for a Council election campaign through small, individual donations and 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 local campaign printed materials and where possible have it printed locally at their own expense. We do our own layout and prepress work.

Kiama Greens have always prepared their own advertising material including design and prepress work. We pay for all of this material ourselves like other candidate/groups in the election.

Any letterboxing, pre-poll support and polling day support is done by local volunteers and supporters.

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