Local government: Collaborative Projects: Have Your Say

Sit on local council and take a stand

Level

Upper primary/Lower secondary

Curriculum Links

Links to the Australian Curriculum

Background briefing

Imagine you are a member of your local council. An application for a permit to build a 24-hour petrol station with a fast food cafe has been received. You have to think about the information that has been given to Council, then vote for or against approval of the application.

Sitting on council

Council has invited reports and comments from the local community and from Council departments. These are summarised below. Read each one to help make your decision.

Small Business Association 'We want a fair go!' We're against the application because we believe the new place will hurt business for milk bars and two small petrol stations in town.
Department of Roads What will happen to the roads?
The intersection near the proposed site does not have a traffic light. One might be needed, or a roundabout built to help with more traffic. This extra cost would have to be added to Council's budget.
Community Services A cafe could be a great idea. There is still not enough money for a youth centre. Maybe if the developer made the cafe big enough, it could work out to be a good place for young people to get together in the short term.
Department of Planning The big picture is important here.The local high school is only two blocks away. More traffic means some speed bumps would have to be built. An old house would need to be knocked down and half a block of native bush would have to be cleared. Local environmental groups don't want these changes to the land.
Teachers and Parents Parents and teachers at the local high school think fast food is unhealthy and students might leave school during lunch times to eat at the cafe. We are also worried that video games might be added to the cafe.
Local Residents We object to the application for lots of reasons. The main ones are more traffic and noise in the neighbourhood, clearing native bush, and less business for local shops.
The Developer I think the business is a good thing. The application says that the shop will be better for drivers, will create a place for students to get together after school and will give more lights and activity on the street after dark.

Take a stand

As a member of the local council, you have to make a decision about this application. After thinking about the reports given to Council, make a choice. You have three options for your vote: 

1. Approve the application
2. Reject the application
3. Approve the application with restrictions. The petrol station and fast food cafe can be built, but must be smaller in size and close at 10 pm.

 

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