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Aging, Politics and Accountability

6 February 2020

Justine Eden
By Justine Eden, Director, Eden Ritchie Recruitment 

Maybe it’s the age I’m at but for the first time I have a few friends who have decided to run as candidates in the upcoming local government elections. I don’t remember ever knowing collectively as many candidates as I do running in this election. It’s like when you find yourself suddenly invited to 50th parties rather than 21st parties – you realise you have silently moved into different territory.

It’s interesting talking with these local government candidates about their motivations for running. Of course you get the range of reasons you expect, but overall it seems there is a greater collective sense of dissatisfaction, disillusion and anger towards the status quo and an overall expectation of local government working for the benefit of, rather than against the community and local businesses. Maybe the exposure of the activities of some local councils has added to this awareness?

Anger around red tape, bureaucracy getting in the way of creating and building business, arduous compliance and restrictions that don’t seem to make common sense and stifle entrepreneurialism. Perceived deals, back handers and funnelling of public funds with limited accountability or clear and defined outcomes or return on investment. Expectations and demands for better management of our not only financial but also our natural resources, as we see the bush fires have heightened that focus.

Personally I have never had political motivations or aspirations, but what I do know is that operating a business has certainly not got any easier and the reporting and compliance requirements of government have increased. We have to hold a license as a recruitment company. I don’t have any major issue with holding our industry to account, but to date there has not been any checks or confirmations by any third party to ensure we meet and uphold the standards expected. Kind of feels like revenue raising and box ticking to me.

Whatever the outcomes, let’s hope we all benefit? Through effective management, governance, measurement, accountability, services – we have to do it in business to remain competitive and viable, so why not also in government?





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