Illawarra Greens. Social justice, environmental sustainability, peace and non-violence and grassroots democracy.

The great debate: do Wollongong councillors talk too much?

"While everybody supported the motion, people definitely had criticisms of it and nuances of it," Cr Cox said.

"And I was certainly in that category; I'm absolutely going to support it because it's better than nothing, but it's kind of chicken feed as well. And I think there is more that we could do and we could do better.

"And so, that's what the debate is for, I think is to say 'yes, you know, this is a reasonable start, but having $1 million for affordable housing - what that will buy us? How many houses, like one house or two apartments?

"It's really not going to make a huge difference but that's not a reason not to support it."

Cr Cox said the council did pass some motions no-one needed to debate in a block at the start of the meeting.

But she added that it was important to debate some motions; for instance, if someone in the public gallery had come to the meeting for a specific motion, that was always debated.

"Overall, even if all the councillors are agreeing with something, it is a better look to actually have debate about it anyway, rather than just pass everything," Cr Cox said.

"I think it's a good culture that we do generally pass things unanimously and it's not because people are not engaged.

"But of course, there's a difference of political opinion on the council and absolutely, they should have a space to be expressed."


Story by Glen Humphries in the Illawarra Mercury, 9 May 2024.