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Listening Report

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Inspired by the impact of community independents in federal parliament, and the close result achieved by the community-backed independent in the 2022 federal election, in 2023 Voices4Cowper (V4C) reconvened to update our understanding of what is important to people in our community and to assess the appetite for again supporting a community-backed independent.

Between February and May 2024, V4C listened to almost 800 people across the electorate, through Kitchen Table Conversations, a survey distributed via email, social media and community groups, speaking to people at street and market stalls, and hosting special events throughout the region.

This engagement showed clearly that people put the love of the environment in this region above all else – and they want to protect it. They also love the close-knit and supportive community that surrounds them and are concerned about issues such as housing affordability that risk damaging our social cohesion.

As in 2021/22, Voices4Cowper has once again found that there is excitement at the possibility of being represented by someone who listens to their constituents and acts in a way that is aligned with our priorities and values.


What's Next?

Given the time and thoughtful contributions of almost 800 community members, we are keen to see these insights and ideas shared with relevant people and groups so that they may be considered and, where appropriate, actioned.

This report will be shared with the current federal Member of Parliament and candidates for the 2024/25 federal election as they are announced. It will also be sent to state representatives and the five local councils of Cowper.

Our Listening Campaign has revealed a clear desire for better representation in Cowper.  Residents are asking for someone who is visible and accessible in the community, and who listens to and then acts in line with community needs and values.

Voices4Cowper has, therefore, initiated a process to select an independent candidate to meet the community’s needs. We have already received expressions of interest and feel it is important for others to have an opportunity to put themselves forward. The broader community will be provided with an opportunity to contribute to the selection process. The selection criteria for an independent community-backed candidate is based on the characteristics expressed by KTC attendees.


Kitchen Table Conversations

The 2024 Listening campaign consisted of Kitchen Table conversations (KTCs) and a Community Survey. Twenty-two KTCs with 122 participants from across Cowper were held.  The Community Survey heard from an additional 671 people. ...
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