Opinion: Griffith City Council's Lake Wyangan public relations strategy

Kudos must go to Griffith City Council, after deviating from their public relations strategy this week.

It comes after a nasty 2017/18 summer period in Griffith featuring waves of outcry from the community, pleading for some sort of respite from the harsh weather.

The constant stream of social media commentary was aimed squarely at council and its apparent lack of action in finding a solution to building an outdoor pool or fixing Lake Wyangan. But the outcry prompted little comment from council outlining solid plans to rectify the issue.

That was until Thursday, when Mayor Dal Broi explained the details of the most recent Lake Wyangan and Catchment Management Committee meeting, unveiling what Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI) and council have been implementing over the past few months.

Cr Dal Broi says MI, for the past four months, has been trialing what’s called envirosonic ultrasound devices in south Lake Wyangan to test whether they can control algal outbreaks. Whether the current plans to free Lake Wyangan of its blue-green algae problem is beside the point.

If it doesn’t work, no doubt a new potential solution will be tested.

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But the detail is enough for residents to know something is happening.

It leads us to the next question though - why wasn’t this mentioned before all the public hoohah kicked off and gained momentum?

Council’s traditional method of staying tight lipped on strategy and public questioning has in this instance added unnecessary pressure on the local representatives, who according to Cr Dal Broi, have ticked off testing for a potential fix since October 2017.

Now there is something new from council on the issue, the public has time to step away from the keyboard, judge the action on its merits and digest the information.

FIGHTING BACK: Griffith mayor John Dal Broi has outlined steps his council is taking to  fix Lake Wyangan. PHOTO: Oliver Jacques

FIGHTING BACK: Griffith mayor John Dal Broi has outlined steps his council is taking to fix Lake Wyangan. PHOTO: Oliver Jacques

And the open dialogue means council finally has some breathing space on the issue for the first time in months.

The information age means everyone expects more sooner, and transparency on important Griffith issues is certainly mixed in with increased demand.

Let’s hope we see more of it, to better inform locals and dull the extreme nature of public outcry aided by social media.

NOTE: The Lake Wyangan and Catchment Management Committee’s February meeting minutes are yet to be released for public consumption.