Public panel plans scrapped

A TWEED Shire Council proposal for a 'citizens panel' has been scrapped.

The 800-person panel was to be established for better community enguagement in the council's decisions.

According to a report issued to the council at Tuesday's council meeting, the panel was scrapped after numerous logistical problems in forming the group.

"Council wrote to the NSW Electoral Commission twice to request an electronic copy of the electoral roll for the exclusive purpose of randomly selecting citizens. However both requests were refused on grounds of public interest," the report stated.

The report stated that other methods of collecting information was considered but "it would not maintain the statistical integrity needed to achieve the reliable public opinion 'snapshot' the panel was intending to provide".

Councillor Joan van Lieshout said she did not support the panel.

"I don't think that 800 people represent 80,000 people," Cr van Lieshout said.

"It's our job to go out to the community and find out how they feel about things."

The council plans to look at other options for community engagement.



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