For me, the expression ‘Weasel Words’ captures exactly
“the powerlessness and frustration we feel when confronted by meaningless words delivered with authority. Los Angeles Times about Don Watson’s www.weaselwords.com.au
Although we all KNOW how words become faddish we keep on NOT speaking in simple clear language and I am sad, because this practice is destroying good words that have wonderful connotations for the collaboration and efficient use of scarce resources that CAN take place between very different people/organisations in the public, the private and the voluntary sectors.
After Victorian Planning Minister Justin Madden’s ‘sham community consultation’ non Victorians read here and two other recent instances I have heard reported on the ABC of major developments in the NT and WA where consultation with ALL those concerned seems to have been forgotten, I would like to share six basic points that emerged during my ten year community/small business/volunteer experience in regional tourism.
“1. A broad community recognition of the high inter-dependence in planning and managing a tourism destination or community-based project/partnership and the subsequent inability of one sector to effectively operate alone.
2. An indication of the individual and/or mutual benefits to flow from the collaborative process, such as, improving the destination’s competitive advantage, reduced uncertainty for private enterprise, more effective public sector management and greater resident satisfaction.
3. A perception that the collaborative process has the legitimacy and power to influence decisions affecting tourism/community development, with the power coming from the inclusion of key people, from clearly stated objectives and from evidence of adequate resources to implement projects.
4. The early inclusion of key people/groups: local government plus other public organisations that have a direct say in resource allocation:
- Chambers of Commerce, Visitor Information Centres, regional and local tourism groups, resident organisations
- Social agencies such as Community House networks, School Boards
- Special interest groups
5. A facilitator who is seen to possess legitimacy, expertise, resources and authority. He or she may be drawn from a government agency, a firm, a tourism organisation, Chamber of Commerce, Progress Association or Economic Development Group.
6. A statement expressing the community’s desired development and growth, which will be regulated through a collaborative reference organisation that helps with ongoing adjustment of strategies through monitoring and review processes.
Mt Stirling: Industry Communication And Sustainable Tourism – A Study In Optimising the Public-Private Sector Relationship In Regional Tourism”
We CAN employ experts who DO engage and DON’T use weasel words!