BIG PLANS: Fraser Coast Regional Council will rely on 'deliberative democracy' to decide the future of the Esplanade.
BIG PLANS: Fraser Coast Regional Council will rely on 'deliberative democracy' to decide the future of the Esplanade. Alistair Brightman

OPINION: Esplanade plan gives residents a voice

BEFORE today, I had never heard the term "deliberative democracy”.

I must say, I'm a fan of the concept.

I applaud Fraser Coast Regional Council for its decision to put deliberative democracy at work as it plans out the future of Charlton Esplanade.

Having lived and worked in a few different regional communities in Queensland, I have heard plenty of complaints about councils and other governing bodies not listening to residents.

Of course, our councillors and MPs are elected to represent us and our interests, but the reality is they do not always get it right.

While there will never be a time that 100 per cent of residents are happy with council decisions, especially when it comes to major projects and upgrades, the plan to rely on a panel of residents to help decide the Esplanade's future is a good one.

Relying on random selection and drawing on a broad pool means there is a good chance a diverse and truly representative "jury” will be selected.

Their suggestions for the Esplanade will represent the community's wishes, or at least come as close as possible.

No doubt there will still be naysayers who take issue with whatever plans are decided upon.

But this process means we can truly say the council has listened to the community.

I look forward to seeing what suggestions are put forward for the Esplanade.