First world problems – really

October 25, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots (96 of 102)I have, as do many of you received my weekly dose of South west voice, the online publication of Eric Kontos former editor of the Champion. I read as always the stories he writes about issues local and those of interest. Today in my feed I was keen to read the piece posted titled

Being the political junkie I am they are often the pieces that get my interest first… Anne Stanley is the new federal member for Werriwa however she is a long time resident, so my hope was that she would hit the ground running and begin tackling the big issues facing my fellow residents. Anne is a former Councillor, she saw first hand the issues that are impacting our community hard and really the internet is the thing she wants to take Malcolm Turnbull to task on..?  Maybe I’m old fashioned, maybe I’m pinning my hopes on the un-achievable but we have some issues I think rate a little higher on the pecking order that need to be taken to task. Homelessness, underemployment, unemployment, tenant rights, aged care, single parenting support, medical access, hospital waiting lists, TAFE, University fees, marriage equality, refugee support, local transport, banks overcharging, Taxes, a proposed 24-hr airport, the imposition of the intermodal on residents across the border and that’s just off the top of my head. Internet speeds will have very little impact on a number of groups on my list and while NICE to have and no doubt part of the growing list of inequity facing my community I was truly hoping she might start by stirring the pot on some really big issues in our community, not just tinkering around the edges of the popular. I guess that is what happens when we elect one of the two old parties, they have to conform to the issue of the day, the ones that resonate with the better off, the ones that have that tick of approval of the powers that run their parties. Alas there is hope I guess but as for a running start this one falls pretty short in my opinion.

Clearly if your opinion differs let me know, I for one rely on the internet to get my message across however the speed at which you receive it doesn’t’ rate as high on my list of things I’d like addressed today.


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Well that was an event

October 14, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots (38 of 102)Wednesday  was the first council meeting of a new 4 year term of council. At least from the get go things looked like they were  going to be  interesting. There may be some new faces and some new ideas however some of the old bad habits persisted

From what would or could have been a fairly innocuous/standard meeting for the most part it began with a little left over poor behaviour from Cllr Hadchiti a bit of one upmanship one might say. The ever zealousness of the newbies and the stubborn left overs from the previous past were on show from the beginning, right up to the calling for division.

It will take a while as new councillors learn the tricks and tips for stealing proposals, the few liberal leftovers became masters at this in the previous term even though they don’t like it now it’s being done to them.

I tweeted throughout the meeting and managed to stir the eyre of one of the new councillors who didn’t like the hashtag she’d been assigned. While I’d like to take all the credit, even when waiting outside while the confidence motions were in play, I was being asked about her aggressive confrontation by other members of the gallery her saw her pointing her phone at me, the same term was used over and over.  Clearly as time goes by another perhaps even more appropriate tag will become evident  but in a gesture of goodwill I advised her that I would retire it so as not to offend. That said, my quote that the previous Mayor had stepped down in order to spend more time with his family, was not something I made up, it was in the press, he announced it in council so the while the hashtags may still be up for debate, his planning to spend more time with his family was more than accurate.

Anyway, there is more to council than a councillor spending her time reading my tweets while supposedly acting as a councillor defending the rights, needs and passions of the community. Mayor Waller resumed the role easily and as in the past fairly from what I could tell. For council to work effectively the councillors need to focus on what is in the communities best interests and not their own and only time will tell if this is how it pans out.

There were as always a number of items covered under confidentiality and unfortunately when we were called back in a number of the issues were already plowed through and we weren’t about to hear the results. It is well clear that I don’t like issues removed from the public glaze however I am of the belief that with a little diligence, care and respect the community can be included on important issues such as sourcing of services. All should be available today when the transcript is made public on the council website.

Listening as one new Councillor undertook the reassignment of committees, I christened it the “Balloot” as this is exactly what he did over the past couple of years and a way to completely dominate the councilors attendance on committees, only this time leaving the Liberal Councillors out of much as opposed to the past where the Labor Councillors were left out. In fairness in this instance there wasn’t a complete exclusion as in the past and if everyone actually shows up we may see a reasonable balance in attendance. The amendment that all councillors could attend and have voting privileges is and should always have been the case and is appropriate.

It was nice to catch up with a number of members of the community and a big thanks to Paul for bringing back some of my corflutes from the election.  As the numbers stand now there will or could be a clear majority on many issues, however we’ve seen those alliances move in the past and only time will tell. Congrats to Ali Karnib who finally, after many many attempts was declared the Deputy Mayor, it will be interesting if and when he is called upon to chair the meeting as he is very well known for his lack of conversation and discussion throughout the past 8 years, so much so at the last of the previous council meetings Cllr Hadchiti voiced his desire  to support whatever it was Ali was talking about simply because he’d finally spoken out on something LOL.

We have a  long way to go, we will have to watch closely as the councillors settle into their new roles, the balance of some younger voices could be a good thing, especially if they temper their passion with a good ability to learn from those who went before them, especially as none of them had been regular attendees in the past. Now the big task of recruiting a new CEO or confirming this acting one if he applies. Michael has been a fair and even handed acting CEO from what I have seen and I wish him well in whatever he chooses to do, be that step back into his previous role, move on or even apply.  I had heard that Propel had been on the confidential part of the proceedings however for now I am not privy to the outcome, when and if I hear more I will most certainly share.

Onward and upward, 4 years goes pretty fast and a lot can be achieved or messed up so keep watching this space, I will be back in the rhythm of writing more regularly fairly quickly, however it has been nice to have a bit of a break. As always these are my opinions and views, if yours differs don’t hesitate to let me know and I will share them here for one and all to see.


Till next time…


Sign off

Council meeting tonight

October 12, 2016

2016 Signe OutdoorsTonight is the first meeting of the new council term. There are a number of items on the agenda and as usual I will be tweeting from the meeting. For those not on Twitter the feed comes up right here in the column on the right. Just tune in and I’ll do my best to keep you up to date with what happening with your rates money and in your name.


With a more balanced representation and the chief protagonists of the last term no longer on council, let’s hope we can see some real improvements in process, some genuine good will and some positive moves to forward our city, its people and business growth.


More later… come up and say hi if you are in attendance.


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Election results are in

September 17, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)Good news a week after the election day, we have a result and I am super delighted to say this is the best yet result for my local group.

As it turns out the voting got down to the wire, 20 counts before the final North ward member was clear and 26 counts before the south ward 5th member was clear. In north ward it ended up with myself, Sam Kayal and Gus Balloot (Libs) elected and in South with Lance (my husband) Phil Sim and Karress Rhodes (LCIT) elected neither were elected with a full quota and I’ve not yet drilled down to the actual difference but congrats to all 11 councillors on Liverpool Council. Saddest for me was that neither Cllrs Balloot nor Rhodes actually live in Liverpool, they earn an income from Liverpool but neither live here.

So here they are the team you selected to represent you for the Next 4 years. Mayor Wendy Waller (ALP)

North Ward:  Mazhar Hadid, (LIB) Ali Karnid (ALP), Peter Harle (LCIT), Nathan Hagarty (ALP) and Gus Balloot (LIB)

South ward: Tony Hadchiti (Lib) Geoff Shelton (ALP) Tina Ayyad (LIB aka Mrs Mannoun) Charishma Kaliyanda (ALP) Karess Rhodes (LCIT)

The real test will come over the coming weeks and years as to whether or not this group can work together, clearly the main protagonists are no longer on council but it will be interesting to see if the former #powermanmayor remains as a #puppetmaster and if there is any impact he has on both his family members still on council. I surely wonder sometimes, for 4 years I was unaware that Cllr Balloot was a cousin of the previous mayor, but it sure does account for all the glowing, incessant speeches he made throughout the term singing the praise of said mayor. Happy to stand corrected if this is untrue, my source was reliable but again always happy to add more information when it comes to hand. As you can see that is why when my husband and I ran we did so as an upfront, clearly stated partnership. We refuse to participate is skulduggery and partial information. I t will also be interesting to see how the former (I do love saying that) #Powermadmayor is going to manage all that extra family time he resigned for while his wife assumes a council role away from him. Then again it could become a family affair and everyone comes to council meetings.

I wish all the councillors well and trust they are truly there to represent the needs, hopes and dreams of our community. I await the ICAC reports and am hopeful that any wrongdoings of the past are highlighted and anyone caught and proven of using their position for personal gain is held to account. We now have an opportunity to move forward and with a little luck with a balanced, non aggressive and collegial approach to representing our city.

Lastly to my team, WOW you guys did so well and I’m so proud of each and every one of you. Sadly this time the people of Liverpool just missed out on seeing you in action and getting to know the passion in which you approach everything about Liverpool. We have a number of projects coming up and I know you will all put in 100% effort to ensure the residents of Liverpool get to see what we are really about,

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


To all our supporters who handed out for us, thank you… we came so close.


The next council meeting is on the 12th October, I am hopeful to be in attendance (however its Lance’s Birthday so I need to organise around that a bit) see you there, if not at the next for sure.


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Plebiscite schembiscite MARRIAGE EQUALITY TODAY

September 13, 2016

ok… I know I haven’t commented on the elections, mostly because the results aren’t in however this new piece of crap is really getting my back up.

wedding-ringsIn February I will have to vote on whether or not I think the politicians should support my view of marriage equality or ignore it. TO do that I also am expected to accept that spending $160Million plus pay for the NO support because they won’t spend their hard earned untaxed money on  the thing they think will most affect their society!!! Throw in another $7mill so we look like it’s fair and we have a non binding, excuse for paying politicians $200,000 a year to do pretty much nothing on a matter that affects my society, while the governing majority can send my grandson, my nephew and nieces into a war I don’t approve of with nothing more than a brainfart. All the while we’re having more and more people living below the poverty line because the POLITICIANS cannot find an extra $50 a week to help them out a little.


Is anyone else seeing the problem here?  I have another concern, I’ve been looking around and reading and cannot for the life of me find ‘The house of conscience” I’ve found the Senate and the House of Representatives but no house of conscience… Where and when did I elect a conscience?  My understanding of politics and I would like to consider I have a reasonable knowledge was I NEVER DID I truly don’t give a rats arse what my local representatives conscience tells him or her. I went to the polls (and only recently I might add) to elect someone from my community who would represent the views of the MAJORITY of  MY NEIGHBOURS… you know what, the majority of my neighbours believe in equality… and my local member needs only to represent THAT… she can keep her personal opinion, she can dislike THE MAJORITY’S CHOICE  but she has no say on a personal level beyond her personal vote to get elected.


I could go on and on about this, I have so far resisted yelling at Radio announcers because I’m so bloody Pissed off about this. For the love of the GOD YOU DON’T THINK MADE A MISTAKE AND MADE GAY PEOPLE these right wing politicians need to piss in the can or PISS OFF.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY IS A RIGHT, A HUMAN RIGHT AND IF John Howard who by the way did send our family into wars on a brainfart, CAN CHANGE IT…JUST CHANGE IT BACK…DO YOUR JOB! Concentrate on the things that matter right here right now, raising the level of support for people who need help, because successive governments have pretty much killed the employment market because we don’t make anything anymore and do something TODAY ABOUT GETTING PEOPLE OFF THE DAMN STREETS and into housing which is by the way your damned job.


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One day to go

September 9, 2016
2016 Signe OutdoorsHi all, Just popping in the say Hi and to remind all of you in Liverpool, Fairfield and Campbelltown that tomorrow is election day. We have amazing Greens running in each electorate, people who are dedicated to serving the community, people who aren’t developers and real estate agents and don’t have a sub-agenda for seeking your vote. Please take a few minutes to look over the information shared with you by those candidates, look at our facebook pages – this and my @swesterberggreens Have a look at the information and consider giving the Greens your vote in Liverpool, Fairfield and Campbelltown (& other LGA’s this weekend).
Ask yourself, will this candidate put me and my family before big developers? Will this candidate speak up for us? Has this candidate a record for fighting for our residents? Did this candidate just show up this election and have no impact in the community prior? Is this candidate making promises they simply cannot deliver on? Is this candidate capable of working as part of a team to ensure we get the best outcomes?
Gone are the days where party loyalty is enough, gone are the days when you can just assume they are in it for the right reasons.
Before I go I would also like to publically thank my amazing colleagues in the Fairfield Liverpool Greens, despite the outcome this weekend, you have been simply amazing, outstanding and We’re gunna work your butts off tomorrow🙂 To the Campaign team in Glebe and our extraordinary Volunteers – thank you.
I will highlight just a couple of outstanding efforts, Andre who has put together all those pretty pictures and taglines for me and made me look organised and professional and hours and hours on PrePoll. Rudge and Roxie for the time and expertise they put into the fantastic video, John and Bill for their tireless support and amazing skills and by no means least my wonderful daughter and my husband who have quietly worked behind the scenes to keep me sane and on track.
The incredible teams on North and South wards, each and everyone would be an amazing asset to our council, to the unbelieveable team of volunteers who have and will be on polling places tomorrow.  We still have a number of gaps and unmanned booths (so please call me if you have an hour or so).
A BIG BIG BIG thank you from the bottom of my heart. Most residents have very little idea of the dedication and commitment that goes into each and every election.
To my opponents on Prepoll, thank you, we may not agree on politics but we have worked alongside each other now for a couple of weeks. For me there has been no adversarial or nastiness, unfortunately that’s not the case for some. Let’s hope the Liverpool voters get it right and give us a truly committed and varied group of councillors who are there for the people not personal gain.
See you out and about tomorrow…Vote 1 Greens if you want more green than concrete, more passion than payoff, more transparency  than secrecy.
Sign off

Only a few more sleeps

September 6, 2016

2016 Signe OutdoorsCouncil elections are this Saturday, there is still much to do and I’m very keen to get some more volunteers on polling places this week. (please let me know if you can spare a few hours to help hand out) The genuine warmth at the rail station this morning was great and the fact that around 400 people got to see a snapshot of what our ideas for council are is fabulous.

I have thoroughly enjoyed working on the Carnes Hill Pre Poll station, (albeit it tiring) and meeting residents. I expect in the coming days it will get busier and busier and of course Saturday is going to be huge. My colleague Andre has been a gun on the TAFE pre poll and with the backup of some amazing Greens from local groups.

I like many of you came home to a plethora of mail from the Liberals and one from LCIT. It saddens me that even now just days out from an election the nastiness prevails. Accusations and comments that only tell half a story and to know that the chances of  both of the existing councillors being back on council only convinces me more and more that there is a real place for me and my team on this council. It is also stunning how any change over the last 4 years has now been given ownership, with no regard to the fact that there are 11 councilors, not just two old tired teams and Peter. I know that if this is the case even while in campaign mode they are struggling to tell the absolute truth or play nice out of the playpen nothing will be better on council unless there is genuine new blood and a move away from the old parties and old guard independents. There seems to be significant confidence from the old guard of their reelection and my hope is that the community will give them the good shaking up they need.

I still ask the same question, if they (those seeking your re election) have achieved little or are making enormous promises now, why weren’t they enacted upon during the 8 years these councillors have had your rates, your trust and your faith? From those we don’t know, they continue to make promises they have absolutely no knowledge they can actually keep. Neither are regulars at the council meetings and while one has attended once or twice not all is as it seems once elected.While I may not have been elected previously, I have attended all but 3 council meetings and my hope that while I’ve shared much over the last 9 years, there would be more information as a councillor available and the community would be far more informed than they are now.

One thing about elections is that it does allow you time to reflect on the things that are important and with the amazing talent of a couple of our members (Roxie and Rudge) I am delighted to be able to share with you a short video to showcase my passions for Liverpool.

More in a day or so, please let me know if you have a couple of hours on Saturday, we have t-shirts and those working over lunch will have it provided for them.  Please share the video widely, especially amongst your friends in Liverpool… we need their support and we need the genuine change in council.


See you at Holsworthy station in the morning.


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