A High School Student’s Experience of the first sitting of Logan’s Newly Elected Council
As I watched the live council meeting, it was interesting to see the processes that they would go through. The Mayor essentially read off papers and asked the same questions for each Item. These questions included asking if councilors had a conflict of interest, if there was a seconder, and if there were any councilors who wish to speak to the motion. There would then be a vote, and it was here that I noticed that the members of the council had to address everything and make it clear. For example, announcing if someone abstained from voting and announcing the processes that they were going to take. I feel that this was a good thing, because it would make it clear as to what the council was doing and what was happening. Another good thing about watching the meeting live was that you receive the results in real-time and also saw the process leading to that result.
I also saw the acceptance speeches of the newly elected councilors. In Councillor Bradley’s speech, she brought up the issue of the request acceptance guidelines and how they delay the time it takes to see a request. She used an example of how she asked for a report on the 23rd of April about the intersection of Rochedale Road and Priestdale road, but only received a response on the 28th. I think this was interesting to hear because she also states that it used to only take a few hours or even just one. The difference in time between the two was rather shocking, because it showed how the request acceptance guidelines were delaying things.
In Councillor Lane’s speech, she talked about how a lot of parking isn’t available to the community at the park behind council because it was taken up by council employees. This would lead to families parking far away from the actual park, and they would have to walk their whole family there. I thought this was eye-opening because you would’ve assumed that the cars parked in the parking lot belonged to people who were using the park. Councillor Lane also touched on the struggles that people with prams or wheelchairs would face due to the limited parking.
Councillor Stemp also suggested many solutions to issues that the community faced. Two that stood out were the continued protection of nature reserves and parklands and finding ways to support youth and give them a greater voice in the community.
The Logan West Councillors: Councillor Heremaia, Councillor Bannan, Councillor Willcocks and Councillor Frazer; also expressed their sincere appreciation and honour to be a part of the Council. Both Councillor Heremaia and Bannan stated that they are proud to represent their communities and would strive to “take the city to another level of prosperity”. Councillor Frazer reassured the community that he is the right person to represent Division 7 and won’t let them down. He stated that he will “fix the small things first” by community consultation and ensuring issues that have been brought to his attention will be fixed in a timely manner. Councillor Willcocks expressed her passion to be a “strong voice” for Division 11 and that she would fight for what is best.
As I watched the meeting, I could feel how the members of the council really wanted to improve Logan. I also saw how the councilors encouraged and supported each other. For example, Councillor Hall withdrawing from being elected Chair of the City Lifestyle Committee because he believed Councillor Koranski was more suited and experienced. It was nice to see that Councillor Hall was prioritising the community. I think by watching the live meeting, I could see the passion that the Councillors had and also understand what happens in meetings.