Cowper residents outline priorities for political representation

ALMOST 800 people across the Federal electorate of Cowper have shared their views about what matters most to them and how they feel about the state of political representation.

In a report launched on Sunday June 23, Voices4Cowper shared the key themes from its recent ‘listening campaign’.

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Love of the natural environment was the most valued aspect of living in Cowper for respondents.

Bec Davis, co-chair of Voices4 Cowper and one of the authors of the report, said, “Unsurprisingly then, climate change and the environment also emerged overall as the most frequently prioritised issue residents want the government to address.

“Many people expressed a desire for strong action on climate change and are concerned about protection of native forests and koala habitat.”

Other top themes identified include housing affordability and homelessness, integrity in politics, health and aged care, recognition and better outcomes for First Peoples, and appropriate development.

Beginning early this year, Voices4Cowper research has drawn on insights expressed through 22 ‘Kitchen Table Conversations’ involving 122 people (held in all five council areas of Cowper) and 671 responses to a community survey which was distributed online and provided to people at street and market stalls across the electorate.

A similar process was conducted in 2021.

“The big differences between 2021 and this year are that housing costs, health services, and education are of greater concern to people now than a few years ago,” explained Janette Blainey from the Voices4Cowper Steering Committee and report team.

Another of the report’s authors, Voices4Cowper co-chair Amy Hodson, said the process had also offered potential answers to issues facing Cowper residents.

“One of the great things about the listening process was that people also suggested solutions to some of the concerns .

“It is clear that the people of Cowper are keen to be positive contributors to keeping our area special.”

The co-chairs have contacted the current Federal MP, Pat Conaghan, to offer him a briefing on the report findings and suggested solutions.

Mr Conaghan’s office will now organise a mutually convenient time and place.

Ms Davis said respondents wanted a candidate who is visible and accessible in the community, and who “listens to and then acts in line with community needs and values”.

“We have already received expressions of interest from people keen to be a community-backed independent for Cowper.”

The report (Cowper Speaks), along with information about the candidate selection process, is available at

By Andrew VIVIAN

2 thoughts on “Cowper residents outline priorities for political representation

  1. Thankyou.
    Pat certainly fulfills this request in tonnes.
    Ms Davis said respondents wanted a candidate who is visible and accessible in the community, and who “listens to and then acts in line with community needs and values”.”
    I find it disingenuous that voices for Cowper call indigenous ‘first nations’ .
    We have aboriginal Australians.
    Their needs in this electorate are being attended along with other Australians.
    We are not an apartheid country.

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