The state government requires all Victorian councils to adopt a new Community Engagement Policy by March 1, 2021.

The Local Government Act 2020 sets out five principles which have to be addressed in the Community Engagement Policy and allowed a 12-month timeline to develop it with the community. Note a full year for a democratic process. Other councils determined no “constraints of the timeline” as BCS has now claimed.

The draft policy was presented to the council meeting on December 16 and only then was the community given an opportunity to comment, with a closing date of January 17.

It is unsurprising that council has been asked by a number of residents for an extension of time. Remember, Christmas and New Year holidays. The fact is though that BCS residents are being asked to comment on a draft they should have helped develop in the first place during the past year!!

A search of many Victorian councils provide documents showing wide consultations despite the virus with pages of information pitched at all levels of understanding, even year seven. We have been duped. This shows a dereliction of duty and total disrespect to residents in my opinion.

Beth Banks, Wonthaggi