Sunday, March 09, 2008

Online Community Cabinet meetings needed

The new Australian Federal Cabinet is holding a series of Community Cabinet meetings around Australia. The local community gets to meet Cabinet ministers and ask them questions. What is needed is an online extension to the process for those who can't get to the meetings.

The first meeting was held in Pereth in February and the second in March in Brisbane. Assuming one meeting is held per month and 800 people attend each (as did in Brisbane), then less than 10,000 citizens in all will have the opportuinity to attend each year. Also those people who do not live near one of the meeting locations will be excluded, as will those unable to attend due to a disability.

To address this discrimination, the Community Cabinet Secretariat could network the meetings, using the Internet, taking questions via the web and SMS. Also it would be useful if summaries of what was discussed were provided on the government web site and there was an RSS feed of items ralted to the meetings. All of thise would cost a fraction of the cost of one face-to-fcae meeting and reach many hundreds of times as many citizens.

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