MBRC Cr Adrian Raedel Votes Against Council Newsletters

Moreton Bay Regional Councillor for Division 12 and Mayoral Candidate, Adrian Raedel was the only councillor to vote against a policy relating to divisional newsletters, which are delivered periodically to every letterbox across the Moreton Bay Region.

At a community mobile office held by Cr Adrian Raedel, he explained what he voted against and why.

“The motion was, do you support the Moreton Bay newsletter policy?” Cr Raedel said in the video above.

“And in that policy, it details how we do those newsletters, how we send them out, what content’s in them, and yeah, whether or not we put a budget item behind that for those newsletters.

“Every year, Moreton Bay Council puts out 74,000 newsletters around Division 12. And every year, lots of those go straight in the bin.

“Straight into the recycle bin, and don’t even get read.

“So, yesterday was a vote on our policy around the newsletters and how we deal with them.

“Look, I didn’t support the way that we are currently going, because technology’s changed so much since we brought in the newsletters delivered to everybody.

“And I want to trial in Division 12 an opt-in process, so yeah, sure, anybody who doesn’t have the internet, doesn’t have email, can still get them in the mail.

“Happy to send them through, but perhaps there’s a better way of delivering using technology.

“Whether that’s through email, whether that’s through our Facebook, our social media posts, I just think there’s so much more that we can be doing with the dollars that we’re saving.”

Later in the Tuesday, 5 March Coordination Committee Meeting Cr Adrian Raedel moved that a workshop be held in relation to a trial in the 2019/2020 financial year of an opt in electronic and hard copy version of the divisional councillor newsletter.

This motion was seconded by Division 1 Councillor, Brooke Savage with no councillors voting against the motion.

Poll

  • On Tuesday, 5 March, Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) at a Coordination Committee Meeting will consider the future of divisional newsletters. These newsletters are delivered into each letterbox across the Moreton Bay Region and are exempt from junk mail rules.

    Further, residents can’t opt out of receiving these newsletters, because they are mostly distributed using the Australia Post unaddressed mailing system.

    An MBRC document says: “Council is committed to informing the community in an accurate and timely manner about its services, facilities, events and projects through the publication of divisional newsletters.”

    However, since these newsletters have been in place, technology and the way the general population consume news and information has change. Also, people’s perception on the use of paper and the impact it has on the environment, including landfill has shifted.

Cr Adrian Raedel Transcript From Video Above

Adrian Raedel: The motion was, do you support the Moreton Bay newsletter policy? And in that policy, it details how we do those newsletters, how we send them out, what content’s in them, and yeah, whether or not we put a budget item behind that for those newsletters.

Adrian Raedel: Every year, Moreton Bay Council puts out 74,000 newsletters around Division 12. And every year, lots of those go straight in the bin. Straight into the recycle bin, and don’t even get read. So yesterday was a vote on our policy around the newsletters and how we deal with them. Look, I didn’t support the way that we are currently going, because technology’s changed so much since we brought in the newsletters delivered to everybody. And I want to trial in Division 12 an opt-in process, so yeah, sure, anybody who doesn’t have the internet, doesn’t have email, can still get them in the mail. Happy to send them through, but perhaps there’s a better way of delivering using technology. Whether that’s through email, whether that’s through our Facebook, our social media posts, I just think there’s so much more that we can be doing with the dollars that we’re saving.

Adrian Raedel: So there was two councillors away yesterday at the council meeting, and very clearly, I voted against it. There was no one else in the room who voted against it, but there were two councillors away. And then, general business, we put up a motion to workshop this trial in Division 12. That got extended because it was thought that there may be others in the room that may wish to also do the trial in their area, so we’re going to workshop that and look and see where we go into the future.

Adrian Raedel: Yeah, because there are letter droppers and Australia Post and there’s contracts involved, we’ve got to do that component behind closed doors. Certainly there’ll be a report coming forward out of that workshop that will be made public, there’s no problems with that. But just, there’s a whole policy that needs to be written and looked at, there’s numbers to be checked, there’s budgetary constraints, there’s contracts that we already have in place, both with printers and deliverers. I guess, it’s just not as simple as going, “Hey, we want to trial in Division 12. Let’s do it. We start tomorrow.” There is a whole heap of other background work, you could say, as to how that trial’s going to work, how we’re going to put it together, and what effects it’s going to have on our budget, what effects it’s going to have on the contracts that we already have in place.

Adrian Raedel: There are two reasons, I guess. The first being that we’ve seen the advent of Facebook since way back in 2008 when we amalgamated, when these newsletters started to come about. And we’ve seen the fact that throughout all ages, whether you’re 15 through to 65, even older, they’re jumping on Facebook, they’re jumping on social media, they’re reading the newspapers online, they’re getting their news content, not from a piece of paper that they’re getting out of the letterbox, but from actually looking online and reading and seeing what they want to read and choosing what they want to actually take in. So that’s the first point. The second point, yep. There was a poll that was out there that clearly showed support for using these new technologies to get the newsletter out there.

Adrian Raedel: Yeah, look, we do have technology challenges in Division 12. We’re a very big division, but in saying that, we’ve had some new NBN towers come along for fixed wireless, we’ve had NBN come along to our little towns and to our little estates in different locations, up through to Woodford. We’ve had some really big changes in the mobile technology, and that’s getting better and better. Council has put in money towards the Federal Government to fix the black spot or help fix the black spot at Bellthorpe and at Mount Mee. So we’re doing our bit to make sure that technology is there. We should use it. But also we need to recognise that yep, there are going to be people who don’t get the technology, don’t get the internet access and that’s where the opt-in comes in.

Adrian Raedel: So you can pick up the phone, ring through to council and go, “Hey, I’d love to get a hold of the newsletter in hard copy.” You can come and see me at one of my mobile offices that I do right across Division 12. If you are in town and you’re talking to the library staff, that you can jump on the net at the library and they’ll help you get to the point where you can opt-in.

Adrian Raedel: There are two main benefits I’m expecting out of this trial. The first is an environmental benefit. The second is a cost saving to the council, that can then be invested back into our parks and into our roads.

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