Our Say: Why not leave bin decision to councillors?

LONG DEBATE: Dubbo council started informing the public about the green bins in 2015. Pictured are council's Scott Neyland, Steve Clayton and David Pipe. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

LONG DEBATE: Dubbo council started informing the public about the green bins in 2015. Pictured are council's Scott Neyland, Steve Clayton and David Pipe. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

The controversial third garbage bin for Dubbo is almost a certainty.

It doesn’t matter that many residents oppose it – at last tally 1500 people had signed a petition against it and the campaign was still going.

The proposal to introduce the organic bin was presented at the Dubbo Regional Council (DRC) Works and Services Committee meeting on Monday night.

There was a lengthy presentation on the third bin system. It dominated affairs and took up the bulk of the two-hour meeting.

The talking was done by the DRC’s manager of civil infrastructure and solid waste, Mr Steve Clayton, former deputy mayor and election candidate Ben Shields, resident Don Graham and the DRC Administrator Michael Kneipp.

Mr Kneipp gave the bin the green light. Council process means it will go back to him at next week’s monthly council meeting for final approval.

So, the bin – opposed or not – is now a reality unless Mr Kneipp changes his mind.

Mr Shields, who has been helping gather signatures for the bin petition, opposes a decision being made on it before councillors are elected to the DRC in September.

He believes any decision should be left to the community’s elected representatives.

He said if he was elected he would establish a review board to investigate each decision made by Mr Kneipp.

There have, of course, been no elected representatives since the NSW Government forced Dubbo to merge with Wellington last year and sacked both councils.

Mr Graham, a conservation advocate, made a valid point saying residents needed more information about the bin.

The debate has been on since the days of the pre-merger Dubbo City Council with people taking strong for and against stances. It is certain much information has been missed or misunderstood along the way.

Mr Kneipp said he had thought very long and hard about the proposal before making his decision. He cited society’s environmental attitudes and financial impacts on ratepayers if the bin was not brought in.

Some community irritation could have been removed by better and detailed explanations. More may have dissipated if residents at least felt they had been heard by their elected representatives even if the councillors then still backed the bin.

That is grassroots democracy. But, the government trashed that option in its merger compactor.

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