Justice in QLD – will it head south?

October 9, 2017

As many of you will know I was not a supporter of the former CEO Carl Wulff. I have however maintained contact over quite some time with people who were directly impacted by his less than upfront methods in Queensland. I have heard their sadness and the impact of the decisions he made affect them, their families, their health and their future and  I can now say how pleased I am to hear that the Qld CCC has taken serious action to ensure the people of Queensland are rid of dishonest people who infested places of trust like local councils. I have read pages and pages of information that now appears to have been proven as correct and am delighted that in some small way those most affected have been vindicated even though they will probably never be compensated the real cost of their losses.

 

There is a plethora of information available online and it will be interesting over time to see if anything untoward was attempted whilst on our payroll is uncovered. It won’t however be truly known the depths of the evidence the CCC have against him or his partner until the court appearances on October 24th. One has to wonder if there is anyone closer to home who would be worrying about his loyalty or his willingness to roll over to protect himself… alas we may never know but I am so pleased to hear justice is being served in Qld and while there are some here who are relishing the news out of Queensland, please remember, they were the ones who employed Mr Wulff here even when their own due diligence was being questioned. Some of you may recall my posts in relation to the contact not only from Ipswich but those in Dandenong who contacted me who were highlighting their concerns.

If you are interested I’m pretty sure a google search of Carl Wulff will make available a number of articles that all appear to be quite confident of his guilt, what actions have been taken and those who have also been swept up in the deceit of the ratepayers of Ipswich council.

As always if you have differing information please don’t hesitate to share. Cllr Balloot advised me at the last council meeting that there were inaccuracies in some of my posts and I have invited him to share his version/view for publication here. Then of course it will be up to you to decide which is correct…that said I’m always more than happy to share differing views, however to date they have not been forthcoming. One point he clarified that I and I’m afraid many others were of the impression, that he is not in anyway related to the former mayor. Knowing that I had been given that information from several people, my apologies for the error, I too would have wanted that cleared up quite quickly.

 

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Finally something Positive

September 10, 2017

Hi all,

I have refrained from posting for a while, I am determined to not only post negative stuff and I have to say there are times when that proves to be a bit of a chore. I have, as always been attending the community forums, council meetings and as much as possible all things Liverpool. Conflicting events means I’ve missed a couple but as I’ve said the forum have always been a really important community interaction I do my utmost not to miss. I did in the past week attend the Rural forum at Bringelly where the CEO was a special guest to discuss the happenings around Badgerys Creek airport construction and development. So the positive, I sat there listening to the CEO speak, answer questions and ensure more information will be forthcoming, most importantly she was HAPPY to be there. The last time I was privileged to watch the most senior Liverpool Executive genuinely glad to be interacting with the community was the late Phil Tolhurst, he relished his interactions with the community as does I believe our present CEO. Kiersten Fishburn. So much so she has committed to attend regularly and keep the community informed, not only as our CEO but as the only Liverpudlian representative of the Federal Government’s airport advisory group.

Council meetings are now, while better behaved degenerating into some of the behavioural issues of the past. Some councillors who think they are more important than the rest, others who play political games and others who clearly seem to be guided by ghosts from the past. Either way, not a lot is changing and while nothing untoward is happening, nothing exciting is either. That can be seen as both good and bad. Of real import to me is that under the leadership of our new CEO the morale in council appears to be on the improve, matters of significance are held to a higher standard of behaviour even against the wishes of those keen to create havoc.

There are a few things as a community we need to be mindful of and some we need to be prepared to take action:

Local events: The Spring Carnival next week, local forums to attend and council meetings to observe.

Farther afield: Rallying the community to stand up for equity and fairness in the upcoming Non Binding postal survey into allowing Same Sex Marriage.  It is really important that we do not look at this as a religious issue, while for many religion does have its place this purely and simply is an equity issue. All Australians being treated fairly and this is just the first step, once we do this we have some enormous issues in treating our first Australians with equity and fairness, treating the disabled, the elderly and refugees fairly and equitably. What saddens me about this is that it is un-Australian to be doing otherwise, yet here we are rallying for a fair deal and fair treatment for everyone, our young need access to further free education options, our unemployed need to be guaranteed a fair income and our Homeless need HOMES. People need to be ensured they can either find well paid, meaningful work or are not penalised when it is not available to them.  When you talk to the average person they are decent and caring, yet we continue to elect politicians who truly do not represent us.

I was having a conversation the other day with someone who said they cannot wait for a Federal election and in so many ways, Me too, however  while ever we continue to just switch between two parties who offer much the same thing none of the important stuff is going to change. Neither Labor nor Liberals, state or Federal have forward thinking, positive outcome, objectives, they are stuck in the past and mired in history and not even bothering to learn from it. I know I am a bit spoilt, I associate on a regular basis with truly forward thinking, positive outcome politicians, whose first focus is not on what is in it for them but what the country and the community truly need for a better, healthier, safer future.  I can hear your tutting from here 😀  lol, but it is something I actually get to experience and while it will take time for more people  to get a grasp but thats ok…one step at a time.

The big question I believe we need to ask as individuals is why, for the first time in history, is the next generation not being left in a better situation than the past? Followed by What can we do to change this… for the better?

Well now I’ve posed the big questions, I will leave you for now. See you out and about in our fabulous city, remember don’t believe everything you read, ask questions,  be sceptical don’t just believe everything you read. I was browsing a former local pollies pages today and the inaccuracies were overwhelming. I am always happy to answer questions, clear up anything you need more info on, so don’t hesitate to even question me and I will do my utmost every time to ensure the info I share is accurate and honest. I don’t print gossip, I don’t want to share incorrect information and if your view/opinion is different, share it I will post views and opinions even those different to my own.

Just before I sign off, congrats to the many Greens who did so well at this week’s council elections, there are more Greens on councils who will ensure many positive things, most especially that the community and environment get priority over development.

Til next time, remember YES to equality in the Postal survey and follow it up with a call or email to your local MP to make sure they know you expect them to represent you and the overwhelming majority of people who want/demand fairness and equity. VOTE – YES

Chris Hayes’s office number is 8786 1004 (has publicly stated he’s voting NO) e: Chris.Hayes.MP@aph.gov.au

Anne Stanley’s office number is  9829 7477 (has publicly stated she is voting YES) e: Anne.Stanley.MP@aph.gov.au

Craig Kelly’s Office number is  9521 6262 (has publicly stated he’s voting NO) I couldn’t find an email so you can Contact via:  https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Contact_Senator_or_Member?MPID=99931

 


my two most recent submissions to council

July 28, 2017

I have been busy writing submissions and numerous other things, however one I didn’t post in the hope it wouldn’t fore warn some councillors that the Nursery Mattered… alas they voted down to actually supply the nursery and eco centre we  were promised when first asked to accept an environment levy. Alas I shouldn’t be surprised and am always hopeful that we can as a Council stick to our word to our community.  This has now happened on two major occasions, first when we were surveyed about the Special Rate Variation and now on the outcome from the Environment Levy you and I all pay to have our precious environment cared for. in the cast of the nursery, what was worst for me is  that a non resident councillor spoke so vehemently against it based on one attendance at a meeting that a number of us had been attending and supporting for 8-10 years.

So here are my last two submissions, sadly mine was the only one received by council for the Operations and delivery program draft and as today is the last day for the community halls one I can only hope I am not the only person attempting to save our community halls from sale or as they’re calling it rationalisation.

The Facilities submission is due today, I emailed mine last night and am hopeful we can achieve a good outcome on saving our halls. If you’ve not had a chance to look at it, log onto Liverpool LIstens, I know they will accept a late submission if you take the time to get one in. With the changes to Section 94 (developer) contributions, money from there can NO LONGER be used to build community centres and the like, so future buildings will all have to come from grants and rates. Some of our older buildings are on prime real estate and the reality that once they are sold they are gone forever should raise some interest.

here they are:

submission re council facilities 27.729.5.17

Delivery and Operational budget submission

Don’t forget the National Tree day planting is at Brownes Farm in Hoxton Park this sunday, council always throws a good BBQ and entertainment for the kids, so come along, plant a tree or three and have a lovely day out in what is being promised a pretty spectacular 26 degree day.

 

See you there


Honouring agreements or being opportunist

June 29, 2017

I did the unprecedented thing last night, I walked out of council making the comment as I went that the money councillors spend is NOT THEIR OWN.  I know I say this often about council, state and Federal politicians because the belief they own our money is a furphy, while they might have care and control in the day to day, it’s not their money and there is a degree of honour attached to all things we take to the community and act upon. While there are numerous times over the past years things have been changed without the support or knowledge of the community two major items spring to mind here in Liverpool.

First is the promise that was made when we were being asked as a community to agree to the special rate variation. I attended all the community information sessions relating to this issue and was swayed by the promise that with the SRV we would not be borrowing money, that the SRV would fill the void. One councillor at the time said : over my dead body will this be extended or continued” clearly he’s still alive and happy to live in the knowledge he lied (or simply forgot) to the community who trusted him to stand by his word. Then again he was not alone and we all know that little nugget was not of gold as we might have expected but a load of “sh*t” as it turned out. Onto the second most recent, the one that had me leave council last night. Again this is something I’ve written about before, I stand passionately as your representative on the Environmental Advisory Committee and have lobbied long and hard that what was promised in the initial request to apply an environment levy was delivered. There will always be people who have a differing view of what should and should not happen in  council, lord knows we’ve had more than one delay in implementing promised outcomes but on this I stand firm. We said we would provide to the community and environmental centre and community nursery as part of the funds collected… we have the money set aside. However there have been those, interestingly the same person as I mentioned above, who have continually and deliberately stymied the delivery of the promised centre, time and time again. To be clear, there have been sites selected, there is money to build and set up what can and would have been a self funding cost neutral centre over time. You have already paid for it from your enviro levy.  We have engaged consultants who, while pointing out some minor overcomable concerns endorsed  the building…. UNTIL our former CEO, saw the bucket of money and wanted it absorbed into general funds and commissioned ANOTHER consultant report that interestingly highlighted some other option as an outcome. The old expression money can buy any opinion you want may be truer than I had ever thought or perhaps its interpretation, I guess I’ll never know. There are only two community reps who have been on the EAC for the entire time. Last night after attending 1 (ONE) meeting new councillor Rhodes spoke in council as the ‘authority opinion’ against the centre… while others said they’d never heard of a successful nursery, I suggest they look at Sutherland council and Wollondilly, Sutherland Council recently issued a video singing the praise of theirs (link below).  Cllr Harle used his chairpersons vote to break the tie and  support  some of the members on the floodplain committee- not the EAC but now combined committee (interestingly led by the same bloke as above) to oppose as he has always done, spending the money as was initially promised. The vote was 7 for and 7 against with Cllr Harles casting vote going twice to the negative.

OK to be clear this rant is NOT ABOUT A NURSERY, I am not a gardener, I am passionate about the environment and I am even more passionate that integrity and honour is upheld and if WE PROMISE AN ENVIRO/NURSERY WE NEED TO DELIVER A NURSERY/ENVIRO CENTRE. I accept that all people concerned are entitled to different opinions, I am however also very clear in that what we promise we need to deliver on all things great and small. Clearly there are going to be and were differing views on this, I respect that.

My second big issue of the day:

I am also aware many of you will be hearing the media conversations in relation to the Greens, the party I represent locally and think it is probably worth explaining what the media is not. I do this as an individual, not the convenor/spokesperson of our local group

  1. Greens members join a state party, there is no Federal membership to my knowledge just an affiliation of all groups to the greater.
  2. Greens NSW has a strong leaning towards equity and supporting our 4 pillars. (Listed below)
  3. Greens NSW expect our representatives on all levels of Governance to represent the views of the membership/therefore their voters and supporters, they don’t have conscience votes and they are spokespeople not decision makers.
  4. Decisions they need to represent are debated throughout the membership before becoming policy, we meet regularly to hammer out our positions and reach consensus. Like sausage making the process isn’t always pretty but the outcome superb.
  5. Greens NSW discussed the potential shortfalls for local schools on the Gonski 2.0 and made it clear, many of us directly to all our Fed Senators and most certainly to our state senator that we did not support Gonski 2.0 (Seriously too many of our local public schools were going to be significantly worse off under the Turnbull changes)
  6. Our senator acted in direct support of the membership decision.
  7. there are calls for the National Greens to look closely at the decision to stand our State senator down, (basically not include her in discussions in the party room) as our convenors have indicated publicly we don’t see it in correlation with our constitution.
  8. There are comments that this is the NSW Greens or the Greens nationally imploding, this is not true, I have witnessed unprecedented support for our Senator and condemnation of the public outburst and leaking that has allowed what could have been discussed civilly and sorted out as a grab for media and power. Worth noting those who are doing the leaking are getting off scot free.
  9. Most people who have supported the Greens over time, have done so because we stick to our principled and environmentally focused agenda. The one we publicise and advertise as we advocate. We carefully evaluate the impacts on the greater population and always aim to bring better outcomes for the majority not the few.
  10. Equity is a right, education should be readily available for all and not based on your ability to pay more.

In summary, when you elect an MP or a Senator, it is not unreasonable to expect that they (regardless of the party) represent the needs of the people who elect them, that is the state from which they come and are elected to represent. If more senators did this, again regardless of the party, would we be seeing the Great Barrier Reef being destroyed, would we be seeing wholesale destruction of our forests, would we be seeing massive foreign ownership, would we see coal mining growing instead of renewable energy options etc etc ? From what I have observed Mr Brown has had a long standing personal issue with our Ms Rhiannon, he regularly throws comments that incite and cause a media storm, sadly his once respected view is becoming nothing more than a bitter old man who doesn’t like to play in the sandpit anymore. Is he seeking relevance? who knows but his outdated and sad attempts are not doing him or the party any good.

Of course all these views are mine, based on what I have witnessed myself, you are free to disagree, comment even, I’ll print it here as you write it. I welcome discussion, even that of those who have a completely different view and I respect differences as long as they are debated with respect and goodwill. Clearly my opinions are just that, I’m sure others will have their own. I bear no ill will to those with whom I disagree, only that all opinions should be aired freely for others to make up their own minds.

As always, send your views, add a comment or voice your concerns… Clearly I do, so am happy to ensure you have a platform to do likewise.

 

 

 

 

The Four Pillars of the NSW Greens:

Ecological sustainability | Social equality and economic justice | Grassroots democracy | Peace, nonviolence and disarmament

 

Sutherland council video 7/6/17 on Sutherland council Facebook page.

In this week’s Mayoral Message Mayor Carmelo Pesce visited our Native Plant Nursery to chat to Bushcare Coordinator Jonathan Watson and his staff about the importance of native plants for our local environment and ways in which the community can contribute.

Look out for your native plant voucher which entitles you to two free tube stock each year in your July rates notice.

For more information on Sutherland Shire Bushcare and how to become a volunteer visit bit.ly/2sQGx7D


I want more

June 10, 2017

Do you think you’re getting value for your rates dollars?

May 26, 2017

We have three days to let council know what we want out rates spent on, if we think there needs to be more money spent on maintaining parks, if your roads need replacement or repair. If you say nothing you will get nothing, if you don’t let council know what your priorities are they are not able to ensure funds are made available to ensure your ‘will’ is done. Its your rates money primarily paying for the things in the budget.

As you know there is a draft budget and delivery program on exhibition at present, its a hefty document and can be read on line via the council website or the “Liverpool Listens” website. Please take a few minutes to see what is being proposed and what is on offer, support it, reject it or simply add to it, but you must do something. We cannot complain about things we want that aren’t done if we don’t get involved in the process. I am presently working on a document that will highlight some of the structural problems with the document and I am probably a little more aware than most of the challenges and aspirations attached to this document however every year only a few, sometimes only one of us, sends the council their thoughts and hopes, wishes and plans.

If you think your local park needs a little more attention, let council know that you support more staff being employed to service those parks, if you think the local community centre is well run or needs a little attention let them know. If you are happy to pay more in parking meters tell them, or not. But you cannot complain later if you say nothing now. We paid out 33million for an entrance to Westfields, aka the mall, there is now a civic centre proposed for the Scott Street site, are you happy with council borrowing almost another 100M (82.9 to be clear) to build a civic centre?

On the Liverpool Listens site is a terrific map where you can click on the link and it will show you what is proposed in that location, whether it is a bus stop, road works, park embellishments what ever and you can see for yourself. This is a fabulous addition to the process and I strongly recommend you having a look. Liverpool Listens (click here)

You may need to register but it doesn’t’ take long and when you are finished there is a link to directly advise council of your views and opinion. No need for a lengthy document you can do it straight on line or you can prepare an emailed style of comment.

Here are the links:

click here for Draft Delivery and Operational document

click here for Liverpool Listens

I strongly recommend you have a say, I have some fine tuning of my suggestions to be done before I email it in, and will post it here on the submissions page.

We have almost 200,000 residents and last year I think the council only received 6 submissions, please don’t let this be the case again, these are your rates dollars and you need to be involved, you need to be heard and you can’t really complain if you sit on your hands now.

The only downside for me is I don’t get to read them, I do see the summary once submissions are received and ready for endorsement or denial by councillors.

Have a good weekend, I may see you at the Liverpool Animal Shelters open day tomorrow and please spend a few minutes (more if you have the time) and have your say.

Address your submissions to:

The Chief Executive Officer

Ms Kiersten Fishburn

Liverpool City Council

Locked Bag 7064

LIVERPOOL BC 1871

 

Delivered VIA EMAIL TO lcc@liverpool.nsw.gov.au

Reference: 2016/2702


Budget and Delivery Programs

May 18, 2017

Hi, It’s been quite a while since I posted, lots happening however there are a few things I’d like to update you on.

Forums have changed, sadly without discussion with the attendees, along with the format for community forums have changed. Some changes are positive however the frequency is one of the less positive. While we used to meet every month now they are held every three months and the locations have increased. Council has prepared a detailed list of the venues and dates and having attended all 6 in April the increase in attendance was approximately 1/3rd. Many of the old participants were not in attendance and it will be very interesting to see if this remains so, whether the numbers will increase or lessen and the format endorsed remains to be seen. The new forums are run by councillors, Labor and LCIT party councillors, the positive being that 6 councillors now attend the forums where previously only 2 sometimes 3 showed up of the 11.

Drawing attention to the fewer forums events (now being quarterly) means that now as the Budget and delivery program are on public exhibition the usual community engagement amounts to just one public event being presented and that was held tonight at Carnes Hill community centre. Having been away for some time during the last month this almost escaped me too, thankfully a call this afternoon alerted me to the program and I and 5 other attendees were taken through the basics. I urge everyone to get a copy of the documents and take some time to read through them. As always there are some positives and a few questions I”ll need to consider, however after many years of requesting both forward projections and past years data this has been provided.  The staff in attendance were more than happy to answer questions and each offered to be contacted directly with other concerns.

Sadly and no real surprise was that not one councillor chose to attend to listen to the concerns and questions of residents. NOT ONE!! Either they couldn’t be bothered, there was a briefing session or someone forgot to tell them lol. I’m guessing with the council meeting on the 31 it is possible for there to be a briefing session, disappointing if  that is the case but possibly not as disappointing as the idea that none of them could be bothered. Alas I’m sure someone will enlighten us.

Having missed the last council meeting (6 since 2007) I’m a little out of the loop on some things however all is pretty much back to normal and I will be darkening your email doorsteps again, hopefully regularly.

Don’t’ forget NOW IS THE TIME  to lodge your concerns and questions in relation to council expenditure and incomes over the coming year. If you don’t make the effort you can’t complain if the council spends your rates money contrary to your expectation. With the plans for a VERY EXPENSIVE Civic Centre in train, proposed debt/borrowings over about 10yrs of over $100million on top of the infrastructure backlog in the hundreds of millions. Parking costs will increase, rental of council properties will increase, so it’s time to have a close look, consider the fairness and ensure the equity for all residents .

Thanks to the 5 staff members who were in attendance, I’m looking forward over the coming days to drill further into the detail and prepare my submission, I believe it’s due on the 28th. (clearly I need to check lol)

Watch this space, thanks to those who enquired about me and my lack of postings.