Bang the Table
Bang the Table is an Australian company which hosts web-based "discussions" for public and private sector clients. Projects range from relatively low key local government policies, such as "tree preservation policies", to more controversial development and infrastructure projects including "the Sydney Metro Rail Line" and the "Coburg Initiative" in Victoria The bulk of the companies clients have been local councils and State Government agencies with a smattering of members of the New South Wales parliament though increasingly clients include private sector companies "full client list".
Bang the Table Pty Ltd has three directors Vivien Twyford, Matthew Crozier and Crispin Butteriss. Bang the Table Pty Ltd's shares are divided between three companies; Crozier CGS Pty Ltd, Crispin Butteriss Pty Ltd, and Vivien Twyford Communications Pty. Accessed from the Australian Securities Investment Commission on 23 January 2009.
Bang the Table's corporate website argues that "Online community engagement reaches many more people than most other methods of engagement. It is affordable, easy, safe, respectful and the community likes it. Until now the main barriers to engaging communities online were related to technology and the time and cost of setting up effective mechanisms to engage - Bang the Table has removed those barriers."
It states that "Bang the Table was established because no matter how well designed, current consultation processes inevitably only reach part of a community or stakeholder group. The internet provides an opportunity to give vastly more people access to information and to have their say. Bang the Table is a company that offer tools for engaging in collaborative learning, discussion, and debate. We host these either on the www.bangthetable.com website or at sites branded with our client's corporate livery. Bang the Table's mission is to improve the quality of public debate and level of community involvement in public life.'Cite error: Closing
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On its website the company states that it provides "an independently moderated space for discussing public policy. We host discussions for organisations that recognise the value of community input to their decisions. Each of the projects on the site is here because someone in a decision making capacity wants to hear your views."
The Bang the Table website domain was registered by Matthew Crozier on behalf of Duo Consulting on April 23, 2007. In August 2007 an application was made to the Australian Securities Investment Commission to register Bang The Table as a company with the registered office address as the same as for Duo Consulting at The Junction in New South Wales. (The Junction is a suburb in the inner city ar4ea of Newcastle).
Bega Valley Shire Council
One of Bang the Table's potential clients was Bega Valley Shire Council, a local council in southern New South Wales. In a submission to the council, the Acting General Manager, L. Barnes, recommended the council hire the company to host ten discussions at a cost of $12,000. In the background paper recommending the company, the council officer stated that "multiple projects can be hosted at the one time. Importantly anonymous posting are not possible and there is a level of independence from Council. Another positive of this service is that it is fully maintained and does not require costly IT development, maintenance and support from Council. Included in this cost is training for identified staff to maximise the use and effectiveness of the engagement tool." The council subsequently became one of Bang the Table's clients, though to date no projects have been discussed on the site.
On its website, Bang the Table lists its two directors as being
On its website, the company lists groups that it has hosted web discussions for as including:
- Orange City Council
- Broken Hill City Council
- Clarence Valley Council
- Wollondilly Shire Council
- Singleton Council
- Jodi McKay the New SOuth Wales Minister for Tourism and Minister for the Hunter
- Newcastle City Council
- Wingecarribee Shire Council
- Port Stephens Council
- Greg Piper, Ne South Wales member of Parliament
- Local Government Managers Association
- newDemocracy Foundation
- ACT Government
- Penrith City Council
- Hornsby Shire Council
- Young Professionals in Local Government
- Lylea McMahon, member of Parliament
- Bass Coast Shire Council
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch Articles
- "Corporate Statement", Bang the Table, accessed May 2009.
- Bang the Table, "Bang the Table", Bang the Table website, accessed December 2008.
- "bangthetable.com", Joker.com, accessed December 2008.
- Australian Securities Investment Commission, "Bang the Table Pty Ltd", accessed December 2008.
- Bega Valley Shire Council, "Ordinary Meeting Notice and Agenda", June 19, 2008, pages 11 and 19-20. (Note the agenda was for the council meeting on June 24, 2008.)
- "Bega Valley Shire Council", Bang the Table website, accessed December 2008.
- Bang the Table, "Our Directors", Bang the Table website, accessed May 2009.
- "Opportunity and need by Matthew Crozier"
- "Local Councils use internet chatrooms for resident consultation", Daily Telegraph 20 April 2009
- "Lobbyists are behind community forum site Bang the Table", Crikey, July 2, 2008.
- Matt Crozier and Crispin Butteriss, "Lobbyists are behind community forum site Bang the Table: Your comments", Crikey, July 2, 2008.
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