Students from Brisbane Water Secondary College Umina Campus will be part of their own regional council meeting when Central Coast Council holds its annual Future Council meeting.
Run with the Rumbalara Environmental Education Centre, the meeting will be for Years 9 and 10 students from schools across the region.
It aims to provide experience of civics and citizenship and local government decision-making.
An agenda has been set which covers issues including development of a music festival site, coastal management, plastic bag ban, community resilience with extreme weather events, sustainable housing, companion animals, changes to residential waste services bicycle infrastructure and a bikeshare program partnership, development of a large youth centre and marine parks.
Council director Ms Julie Vaughan said: “We work closely with our local schools and make sure the topics relate to the curriculum and what they are studying in their classroom but also of interest to the broader community.
“This forum sees students explore environmental, social and economic issues in a format that is engaging and colourful.
“Future Council gives students an understanding of civics and citizenships specific to their local community and gives our future leaders a taste of how local Government fits into a democratic process.”
The meeting will be chaired by the Central Coast Council mayor Cr Jane Smith and deputy mayor Cr Chris Holstein.
“I think it will be just as challenging and interesting for me as chairing a real Council meeting,” said Cr Smith.
“We want more young people to participate in civic life and their community and this program provides a forum where they can express views on issues they are passionate about, build self-confidence and encourage community connectedness.
“We are proud to host this program for our local students and I look forward seeing some of these students as leaders in our Council in the future.
“The students will actually be sitting in the Chambers with me, in the Councillors’ chairs which will give them an authentic experience.”
Future Council sessions will be held on Friday, November 3, in the Gosford Chamber with debate getting underway at 9:30am.
Media release, 26 Oct 2017
Jane Smith, Central Coast Council