Five mornings a week I try to head out for a walk, which means that (allowing for weather, holidays and other factors) I go around a circuit that includes the jetty and the Yacht Club more than two hundred times each year.
That allows plenty of time to reflect on things that are happening around town and speculate about future developments.
However it seems that the people of Bowen aren’t getting a whole lot of information about those matters apart from the occasional reference to the possibility that the town’s population will double or, possibly, treble.
I’ve asked the questions before, but I might as well ask them again:
Where will all these extra people live?
Where will they work?
Where will they shop?
What areas of open public space will they be able to access?
How will they travel between those places?
I now know that some of those questions are already being considered, but there’s no sign of the answers being made available to the public.
Now the easiest explanation for that is that these questions are already being addressed and that we’ll find out about the answers when the deliberations are concluded.
Unfortunately when politicians and bureaucrats are considering potentially thorny issues, the possibility that the public might start to raise a few issues seems to prompt them to keep things under wraps as long as possible.
After all, explaining things to the public will take up time that they could be using for more “productive” purposes and there’s the possibility that they’ll be forced to answer the same questions over and over again.
So it’s hardly surprising and quite understandable that politicians and bureaucrats have found all sorts of ways of avoiding having to disclose potentially controversial or unpopular information.
Hardly surprising and quite understandable, but nowhere in the vicinity of anything that could be described as “open and accountable government.”