We are a community action group with the goal of lifting the standard of integrity, environmental protection, transparency, accountability, and community-mindedness of Ku-ring-gai Council.
Ku-ring-gai's rare and sensitive biodiversity is unprotected. We need a Council that does everything in it's power to preserve our biodiversity for future generations. Local Government must play its part in reversing biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, restoring threatened species and ecosystems, and ensuring it does everything in its power to reduce human-induced extinctions of known threatened species like the powerful owl in the photo. It's not good enough to simply say it's a State and Federal Government issue.
Integrity means being honest and having a strong moral compass. A person with integrity behaves ethically and does the right thing, even behind closed doors. They resist the type of game-playing and deal-making that sees them achieve personal gain and popularity. Integrity means doing what's right over what is fast, fun and easy. Voices of Ku-ring-gai want a Council where every last Councillor makes integrity-based decisions and is willing to explain their reasoning behind those decisions with the public.
The way local governments consult with the community over important issues such as uses for community land is critical. Decisions should not be made behind closed doors without open and transparent community consultation. And yet, there are many examples of this occurring in Ku-ring-gai Council. In addition to a change in consultation processes, a change in attitude towards the ratepayers is urgently required.
We will support candidates in the 2024 local government elections that align with our values and our goals regardless of political party allegiances. We believe local government should not be a place where party politics play out, nor where Councillors are swayed by vested interest groups. Additionally, self-interest should not be the primary motive for being a Councillor. Being a Councillor is a community service.
The key to a successful democracy is a well informed community. We aim to educate our community on important issues like the environment, social housing, youth issues, fiscal management etc. We also intend to fundraise to keep this grassroots community movement alive for many years to come.
It is young people who will inherit our decisions so it is critical to hear their voices, act on their concerns and empower them to speak up now. Imagine 50 years from now when our young people ask us 'Why didn't you do something when you knew we were in a biodiversity and climate crisis?' Are we going to answer "We only cared about our own little patch?" I hope not. Voices of Ku-ring-gai welcome young people with open arms.
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We acknowledge that the Darramuragal or Darug people have been in the area we know to be Ku-ring-gai for many thousands of years, long before the invasion. We acknowledge this land has never been ceded.