Over the last twelve months, we've been trialing a participatory budgeting process to give residents a direct vote in how we spend their money on local park upgrades. This is one of the first times in Australia that a local Councillor has used this kind of deliberative democratic process to give local residents substantive decision-making power. Voting for this year's process will close on Monday, 12 June.
Come along to a Sunday afternoon forum where I'll share some reflections and insights from this year's trial. I'll present some of the interim results and discuss the theoretical and practical implications of participatory budgeting for local governments. The session will include a Q&A component where I'll take questions about the system and also get feedback from residents about your experiences and impressions of community voting.
Remember it's not too late to cast your vote. Sign up through https://gabba.freewill.vision/ to have your say on park upgrade spending priorities.
Each City Councillor in Brisbane has control over a local Parks & Footpaths budget of approximately $400,000, which can be spent on footpath installations and equipment in parks.
While other councillors consult superficially with residents about how to allocate this budget, the councillor ultimately makes the spending decisions. Here in the Gabba Ward, we are doing things differently and are now in our second year of a trial community voting project. Instead of the local councillor deciding which projects receive funding, residents submit proposals and then vote on for which project suggestions get funded.