Noosa Mayor Noel Playford.
Noosa Mayor Noel Playford. Geoff Potter

Verdict in on Noosa citizens’ jury plan

NOOSA Council Mayor Noel Playford has been praised for considering placing more power in the hands of ratepayers through "jury panels" of residents.

Mayor Playford touched on the community jury idea at a Cooroy Area Residents Association meeting last week, but said the details were yet to be worked out.

It was understood those on the panel would be allowed to have the final say on Noosa's major community issues, instead of just making recommendations.

While nothing was set in stone, Mayor Playford said it may be a case of the telling the jury that if they were in 100% agreement on a council issue, their decision would be binding.

Sunshine Coast Council was asked if it planned to introduce a similar practice.

A council spokesman said it had already undertaken extensive community consultation on both small and large issues such as the Planning Scheme and Maroochydore City Centre Priority Development Area.

He said the council already had community advisory committees.

The Economic Futures Board, for example, provided expert advice to the council to implement the Regional Economic Development Strategy.

The Economic Futures Board consisted of six key business leaders and Mayor Mark Jamieson (below).

Mayor Mark Jamieson.
Mayor Mark Jamieson. Darryn Smith

The Daily asked online what readers thought about a community jury for councils and 60% supported the idea. However some were concerned about who would be chosen to sit on the jury and deliver the verdicts.

Gari Fotoman also felt it would defeat the purpose of electing councillors, saying "if 'citizen juries' will be making the decisions why have councillors at all?"


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