Koryn Barrett, of Lennox Head, Rebecca Browne, of Ballina, and Lucy Edwards, of Ballina contemplate what they would complain about if Ballina Shire Council introduced a new system that would provide random chance of receiving $100 cash reward to people who make complaints about services or maintenance issues.
Koryn Barrett, of Lennox Head, Rebecca Browne, of Ballina, and Lucy Edwards, of Ballina contemplate what they would complain about if Ballina Shire Council introduced a new system that would provide random chance of receiving $100 cash reward to people who make complaints about services or maintenance issues. Doug Eaton

$100 reward for complaining

COMPLAINING about Ballina Shire Council could soon earn you $100 in cold, hard cash.

That's right – whinging about the pot holes, graffiti, cracked footpaths or even rate rises could make you that little bit richer.

Sounds too good to be true?

It might not be.

Although the council has not yet adopted the idea, it is considering an approach which could see ratepayers win $100 in cash prizes when they report problems or issues.

The idea is modelled on a system used by Brisbane City Council.

As part of its “fix-o-gram” service, the council also runs an “Eyes in the Suburbs” program.

Residents who report certain maintenance issues to Brisbane City Council infrastructure automatically go into a monthly draw to win one of 10 cash prizes, worth $100 each.

Ballina Shire Council says a similar approach could work here.

“It is considered appropriate that once council had our own ‘fix-o-gram' module operating, then this could be one method to encourage residents to report problems or issues,” according to a staff report which was presented at this week's council meeting.

It sounds like an excellent idea according to some local residents.

Rebecca Browne, of Ballina, said she would “definitely lodge a complaint about something” if she had a chance of winning $100 in cash.

“I'd probably complain about the state of the roads,” she said.

“The roundabouts in town are particularly bad; they are bumpy.”

The council says it might only be able to offer one cash prize of $100 per month ($1200 per annum) because of budget constraints.

“Encouraging the community to report this type of information is important, as often the residents of our shire are the people who are closer to maintenance issues, and the more reporting we receive, the quicker we can respond and address those issues,” the council says.