A little of this and a bit more

Alan Crawford presents twisted short and some longer stories for adults, with quite a number of his rants and observations as well.

Several curious people, really it’s just one, asked me how or where the ideas came from. Thankfully there’s no clear answer. When the trousers, mind, or weather conditions suit such things, the computer opens, a page appears, and it starts to flow. All designed to promote my nonsense, which may be adult in nature but not necessarily mature.

City of Gold Coast (Council)

Surfers Paradise Skyline as seen from HOTA
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Yes I’m determined and I must push on. This is the latest to and fro from City of Gold Coast (Council).

City of Gold-Coast-MAIL <Mail@goldcoast.qld.gov.au>; Chief Executive Officer <ceo@goldcoast.qld.gov.au>; MAYOR <mayor@goldcoast.qld.gov.au>

Greetings (Thursday, 14 September 2023 11:00 AM)

I have in the past requested two modifications to Council’s meeting agenda. I’ve noticed with some disappointment that neither has been implemented.

  • The lack of an Acknowledgment of Country being read at each full Council meeting. This deliberate omission can be considered disrespectful.
  • The persistent reading of a Christian Prayer, instead of a broad statement of value or purpose. Namely, one that can be considered to include all Gold Coasters, regardless of faith or culture. 

In addition to these two matters, I notice that the large photograph of Queen Elizabeth remains in chambers, while a portrait of His Majesty King Charles does not.

I fully understand that Council has important issues and budgets to deal with, but there is an opportunity (and staff) to focus on all aspects of City of Gold Coast (Council).

Many thanks

Alan Crawford


Dear Alan (26 September 2023 – 12.50 PM)

I refer to your previous correspondence dated 3 March, and subsequent response from Nicki Moore, where she outlined that such matters will be dealt with at a future Council Meeting. Given we are only 6-months out from the next Council Election, it will be up to the next elected Council to determine how they run their meetings.

However, please see below further information regarding your queries:

  1. The lack of an Acknowledgment of Country being read at each full Council meeting. This deliberate omission can be considered disrespectful.

The Mayor met with local Indigenous Elders regarding matters of City of Gold Coast Acknowledgement of Country, however as the Mayor has stated publicly in the media there will be no change to the process until after the 2024 local government election, which will take place in March.

  1. The persistent reading of a Christian Prayer, instead of a broad statement of value or purpose. Namely, one that can be considered to include all Gold Coasters, regardless of faith or culture. 

The reading of the Christian Prayer or any other prayer prior to Council Meetings, is a decision for the Council of the day. I note that Federal Parliament currently features some form of Christian prayer/s, generally read at the start of each sitting day, the Australian Constitution grants each House of the Federal Parliament the power to set rules to regulate their own business, including the power to require prayers be read at the start of each sitting day. I understand that many residents may have their own personal views on this, and a quick Google search will tell you that other Local and State jurisdictions regulate their meetings in varying ways, many still include a prayer, and some don’t. In terms of City of Gold Coast Council, and as we move forward to a new term of Council, any changes to the current process will be dealt with early in the term of the next Council.  

  1. I notice that the large photograph of Queen Elizabeth remains in chambers, while a portrait of His Majesty King Charles does not.

The picture in the Council Chambers that features the late Queen Elizabeth II, is not an “official portrait” instead artwork that features Queen Elizabeth II. The official portrait with Australian insignia has not yet been released. Recent citizenship ceremonies were provided with a photo of King Charles III, but this is to be used for citizenship ceremonies only.

I trust this information will be of assistance Alan, I appreciate your patience with this.

Yours sincerely

**********
**********
City of Gold Coast

T: (07) 5581 5283 
PO Box 5042 Gold Coast Mail Centre Qld 9726
cityofgoldcoast.com.au


Dear Mayor / Councillors / CEO

I write today to express my disappointment in the lack of a response to my original email, (see below – sent 24 December 2022).

Whilst understanding that I didn’t ask in a clear form, I thought an acknowledgement and/or explanation would be provided.   

Being an atheist, of Scottish heritage I have no direct connection to the oversight presented at Council Meetings. However, I do feel that the deliberate omission of an Acknowledgement of Country and the exclusivity of the Christian prayer (to the exclusion of other faiths or beliefs) at Council meetings, should be corrected. Recent comments about time constraints are ludicrous when considering the time taken for the never ending Conflict of Interest Declarations that can be dramatically reduced with an auto text and/or template feature.

Passionate and lengthy debate around the cable car, both at Committee and the Full Council meeting dealt with the need to seek the opinions and wishes of the Traditional Custodians and then the Community at large. Despite the routine confusion of some Councillors, the motion passed. The need and agreement for these discussions, should justify the Acknowledgment of Country being read at each Full Council Meeting. Recent ABC news story stated that the matter would be voted on during the 28th Feb Meeting.

In respect to the Acknowledgment of Country and the prayer, I introduced my concerns to the following groups. Aside from most Divisional admin representatives and only one group from below, I’ve received no reply.

Islamic Society of Gold Coast

Gold Coast Hebrew Congregation

Gold Coast Hindu Cultural Association (GCHCA)

The Yugambeh Language People

Gold Coast Community Alliance

Note: In my clumsy misunderstanding, I incorrectly asked for a Welcome to Country, when it should be an Acknowledgment of Country. I did correct this in my email to the Yugambeh Museum contact. City of Gold Coast’s own web page dealing with the Welcome and Acknowledgment Statements

Thank you – Alan Crawford 


Dear Mayor, Councillors, (24 December 2022)

I seek your consideration to changing a prominent agenda item in Council Meetings.

I ask that City of Gold Coast (Council) stop the reading of the Christian Prayer at the full Council meetings. Council is not a Christian organisation and does not operate as such. The prominence given to this prayer may lead an observer to assume it is. 

Ross Giudice replied to a previous email (29/11/21) stating that this agenda item is at the Chairperson’s discretion. I’m unsure of the protocol for the Committee meetings. The Chair’s personal belief and offering of this particular prayer excludes other faiths represented in the City. It is also very surprising that no Acknowledgement of Country is offered at these meetings. 

Can I suggest creating a statement that will include all citizens within the City, without excluding any types or level of belief.  

Indeed, the blending of a “pledge or statement of commitment that is meaningful to all people”, with or without faith and the Welcome to Country will be appreciated by all. Providing no exclusion or a misunderstanding of Council’s standing in the community.  The recent report on the work of faith based organisations on the Gold Coast highlights the diversity of our population.

Thank you for your time and I hope that adjustments can be made and applied in 2023. 

Note. It can be and has been done:

https://www.gippslandtimes.com.au/news/2023/02/17/prayer-scrapped-at-council-meetings/

Website | + posts

I'm an increasingly grumpy old fart posting rants, observations and trying to write somewhat twisted short and slightly longer stories for adults. All rights reserved unless otherwise credited © Alan Crawford - 2024

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