In 2013 Noosa Shire Council de-amalgamated from Sunshine Coast, with the elected representatives ascribing their electoral success (and that of de-amalgamation) to their position of putting more decision making in the hands of the local community. In 2014 newDemocracy was approached to provide advice on structures and processes which could deliver on that commitment.
The Noosa Community Juries were a trial of one potential approach. The two projects aimed to provide a structure whereby critical decisions which affect the entire local community (by nature of service, or by virtue of the cost that would be borne across all ratepayers) were shared with a representative sample of everyday citizens.
As with other processes, the key elements were random selection to achieve a descriptively representative mix of people in the room and the provision of sufficient time and open access to all information the juries requested. Ongoing public statements from the Mayor and Councillors reinforced the desire of Council to act on an informed consensus decisions where they could be achieved.
The first matter referred to a Jury by Council related to reducing organic waste sent to landfill and the tradeoffs involved of environment benefit vs cost to citizens. This was agreed in December 2014 with the first Jury meeting then scheduled for February 2015. Its final report was received by Council in August 2015.
The second subject area to be referred to a Jury was the future management of the Noosa River. This Jury operated from August to December 2015, and the report of the Jury was received by Council in January 2016.
** Please note that the dates have been changed slightly since the process design proposal was provided to Noosa Shire Council. However, as this represents the document approved by Council this is the disclosure copy. It is also worth noting that actual costs for this process were considerably lower than the worst case costings provided by the Foundation. Again, this amendment has not been made in this document, but for reference Council has now confirmed actual expenditure of approximately $43,000 on the initial 6 month pilot process.
River Management Jury
Organic Waste Jury
- Agenda and Report Recommendation (Monday August 24 2015, Page 3) (PDF)
- Minutes of Council Meeting (Thursday August 27 2015, Page 8) (PDF)
- Council Internal Assessment of Success and Learnings (August 18 2015, Page 107) (PDF)
- Noosa Community Jury Project Design (PDF)
- Noosa Community Jury Invitation (PDF)
- Democracy – the Noosa way. Noosa Council Press Release | 10 September 2014
In the News
- Noosa News, 15 January 2016 | Just taking note on river jury option (PDF)
- Noosa News, 15 January 2016 | Mayor cites the need for council water controls (PDF)
- Noosa News, 15 January 2016 | Scarce details on river use says juror (PDF)
- Noosa News, 8 January 2016 | Councillors urged to take responsibility for Noosa River (PDF)
- Noosa News, 25 September 2015 | Professor urges jury to cherish healthy waterway (PDF)
- Noosa News, 8 September 2015 | Jury worth persevering with (PDF)
- Noosa News, 18 September 2015 | Making a living out of the river is by a code (PDF)
- Noosa News, 8 September 2015 | Speed a key issue for river (PDF)
- Noosa News, 8 September 2015 | Noosa’s hulks not the worst (PDF)
- Noosa News, 1 September 2015 | Setting a better course (PDF)
- Noosa News, 4 September 2015 | Juror’s defence (PDF)
- Noosa News, 28 August 2015 | Counting green costs (PDF)
- Noosa News, 28 August 2015 | Noosa to lead reduction (PDF)
- Noosa Today, 27 August 2015 | It’s official: jury is in (PDF)
- Noosa Today, 27 August 2015 | Community jury’s verdict in on organic waste (PDF)
- Noosa News, 11 August 2015 | Second wind for jury trial (PDF)
- Noosa News, 6 February 2015 | Our Noosa Shire jury is sitting and there’s no time to waste
- Noosa News, 29 December 2014 | Organic waste the first case for Noosa’s Community Jury
- Noosa Today, 18 September 2014 | Mixed reaction to ‘citizen’s jury’
- Noosa News 24 June 2014 | Verdict in on Noosa citizens’ jury plan