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.

 

Sign off


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.

 

Sign off


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.

 

Sign off


For Eileen: The Greens position on Planning

September 2, 2016

2016 Signe Outdoors

Lance

Lance

Lance and I just got a great call from a resident (sadly Lance was still at work). Eileen has some genuine concerns regarding the planning situation here in Liverpool, most especially around the size (or lack thereof) of new  blocks being released at around 350Sq Metres. These are genuine issues facing the community and as I explained to Eileen we really need as a community to have more input in what happens to our community.

On Tuesday, NSW MP David Shoebridge came to Liverpool where he and I released the fantastic Greens 5 Key Planning Principles for Local Government. Unfortunately the coverage in the local paper was minimal and none of these details made it into the small article.

When you elect a Green to council these are the principles we believe necessary to ensure the community is represented when planning decisions are made.

Eileen suggested that we do what we can to get our message out into the community, so here you go, if you, like many of us have concerns, please share this post. Time is short and there are a number of real issues the community would like some details on, so please give me a call on 0412 920 057 and I will publish your concerns and the Greens position on them right here for you to share.

 

Thanks for your call Eileen, I hope this helps address your concerns and you see fit to share it with your friends and give us a go on the 10th.

Sign off

 

 

30 August 2016
Media Release
Greens MP says Western Sydney liveability at risk unless serious planning issues addressed
“Liverpool is facing some seriously challenging planning issues mostly as a result of very shortsighted state planning decisions that don’t seem to care about the long term liveability of Western Sydney.”
“With the cap on developer contributions there are large housing subdivisions approved without essential community facilities to support local communities.” Greens MP and Planning Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:
Good planning is about far more than delivering profits to a handful of well- connected property developers. In Liverpool we have seen a number of inappropriate developments approved that do not benefit the community. Things need to change.
“Residents and the local environment need a council that will listen to their concerns about inappropriate development and then become an advocate for them, not for property developers” said David Shoebridge.
Today the Greens are launching their planning package for local government in Liverpool with 5 key planning principles and the Test for Good Local Development.
The Greens are committed to ensuring ecological sustainable development is at the heart of all planning decisions with cities that are sustainable, walkable and liveable and a focus on reduced energy consumption. Planning decisions need to be based on transparent, evidence-based assessment of proposals with fair, full and effective public participation in the process and a corruption proof planning system.
“A good development worthy of approval should answer yes to questions like “Will the development bring social, economic and environmental benefits to the community? Has there been fair, full and effective public participation in the process?” said David Shoebridge.
“Planning should be for the people not the developer, it can’t be about profit it must be about quality of life not how many humans can be jammed into one block. Parking in some of the newer precincts is a disaster.” said Signe Westerberg, Greens Liverpool Mayoral Candidate.
“Liverpool Council needs to stand up and demand a better deal from the state government and that must include being able to charge private developers the real cost of providing the full suite of community services required for new developments,” Mr Shoebridge said.
END

 

Below is the Greens  5 Key Planning Principles for Local Government
The Greens know that planning should be about people, places and the environment – not just profits for developers and their mates.
That’s why all Greens Councillors are fundamentally committed to 5 Key Planning Principles for the coming council term.
1. Ecologically Sustainable Development at the heart of all planning decisions
The principle of Ecologically Sustainable Development lies at the heart of good planning, this means protecting what is precious, and encouraging what is good and working on a precautionary principle when you are unsure of the impact. The Greens believe we have a responsibility to look beyond the “market” to balance the environment, the economy and social well-being. It is through Ecologically Sustainable Development that we can protect and enhance biodiversity while ensuring we have the jobs and housing we need. Any new development needs to be sustainable, environmentally sensitive and focus on reduced energy consumption to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
2. Ensuring fair, full and effective public participation
Despite a promise to return planning powers to communities the NSW Government has effectively sidelined community and environment groups in key planning decisions. Planning decisions are everybody’s business. When changing the face of a local area and approving development proposals, councils must embrace the local community as an equal partner. To promote public trust, interest and inclusion, councils must actively facilitate information sharing, engagement and dialogue. The Greens know that when local voices and local concerns are bypassed, everybody loses out and that’s why we will ensure that local communities are empowered to shape the future of their local area.
3. Creating sustainable, walkable, liveable cities
The Greens are committed to planning decisions that create affordable, walkable, liveable communities that are sustainable well into the future. This means ensuring appropriately assessing development decisions to approve a level of density that is human scale, appropriately placed near transport and employment hubs and provides for green open space and public recreation facilities.
4. A corruption proof planning system
Local councils must ensure that all planning decisions avoid conflicts of interest, perverse incentives or other risks of corruption. Decisions cannot be made behind closed doors whether on council or at a state government level. All elected Greens will work to reinstate third party appeal rights as one of the
key avenues for community and environment groups to hold decision-makers and developers to account. We know that property developers, real estate agents and conveyancers have no place on local councils – that is why there is not a single property developer or real estate agent among our team.
5. Transparent and objective evidence-based assessment of plans and proposals
Councils must ensure that their decisions are being based on comprehensive and objective assessments. This means not accepting at face value the expert reports paid for and written for developer proponents, but ensuring there is sufficient expertise and professional competence retained on council staff to truth check developers claims. This would provide an essential check and balance to put to the test the often inflated and unsustainable claims made by developers. In short, councils’ planning decisions must be local, integrated and above all impartial.
With Greens Councillors, you know what you get – a commitment to a planning system a where the answer to these questions should always be yes; a planning system which empowers local communities; protects the environment and creates walkable, liveable and sustainable cities for our future generations.


8 more sleeps

September 2, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)WOW…the time is going so fast. Only a little over a week to go in this election campaign and I cannot tell you how delighted I am to be in such a  privileged position as to be able to speak with residents each and every day. I can tell you how proud I am of the amazing team we are putting forward in this election. Each and every one of them would be a wonderful addition to Liverpool Council and its a priviledge to work alongside them.

Wednesday night was the final council meeting for this term, a good deal of time was spent electioneering for the 7 councillors who are seeking your vote again, a few good byes and a whole lot of ….leave it to the next lot. So it’s official, not only have they left the next term of councillors a pretty crap budget, undetermined asbestos problems, staff morale at an all time low  but this week they decided to leave a number of items  to the next group. Seriously while I am always the first and often the only voice calling for due diligence, holy crap a donation to Macedonia and Italy in their time of need was not that big a call. Over the past 8 years some councillors shuffled enormous amounts of money for all and sundry and not all as deserving.

The big winner of the night was when in the departing Mayor admitted he’d not been able to work with everyone. Well that was an understatement but at least an acknowledgement I guess. Cllr Ristevski  didn’t waste an opportunity to put in a final dagger or two before he was  missed off the ‘I’ve enjoyed working with you’ list of the Mayor. The whole Propel issues lives on, with the independent report being handed on to ICAC, another of the deferred decisions for the next council. Importantly most of the candidates seeking your vote will have no clue about the issues that have been on and off the agenda for so long other than what they’ve heard in the press. Today we’ve made the news yet again and the comparison between this disaster of a council and the one who had us put into administration had best not be the comparison used in the future because some of us actually know and have seen the happenings of this bunch.

Alas those seeking your vote who have been on council should be scrutinised quite aggressively, what have they actually contributed to the council over their tenure as councillors. If elected to council I will work to ensure that all voting information will be made publically available. Calling oneself independent doesn’t  necessarily mean candidates aren’t aligned. While Greens are sometimes seen in agreement of ALP policy we are not bound in any way to following blindly, our whole remit is to assess each piece of information on its own merit, we vote according to what is in the best interests of the whole community and stand proudly by our reputation to do exactly that when a matter is not in the line with our core beliefs.  (I will print them below so you can see the tenets by which our decisions are made) Council should be about caring for the community, creating services to fill the needs of that community and reduce costs wherever possible.  During the meeting our #powermadmayor (for not long now)  took to highlighting some of the issues in the budget, minus a detail or two  and taking credit for changes that he and his cohorts actually  obstructed which meant many of those projects were actually delayed in the first term.

There will be issues that need to be addressed by the new council, firstly there will have to be very close scrutiny of some of the budget decisions, a very, very close look at the Propel agreement and investigation into same and a serious discussion about the number of jobs that have been outsourced to consultants. Planning issues are a big part of any council and we will need to see what can be done to ensure social and affordable housing options can be set up to ensure our city’s homeless numbers reduce,not grow. Especially important will be to ensure that the community is privy to the actions and decisions of council. Transparency has not been the strong suit of this particular term. Council can and should be the first point of call for citizens needing advice about planning, the go to place for questions and a source of information in relation to many social issues, even those they cannot be directly responsible for, many don’t realise the lobbying ability of council and this needs to be explored. The days need to come to an end where the local member is only heard from in parliament when he/she can bash the council for poor decisions. More soon….

Sign off

 

 

 

 

Ecological sustainability | Social equality and economic justice

| Grassroots democracy | Peace, nonviolence and disarmament

LASTLY. If you have some spare time anytime next week or on Saturday the 10th we are still looking for people to help us hand out at Pre-Poll and on Election day. We will provide a light lunch and a T-shirt just give me a call or email me at swesterberg@iinet.net.au.

Liverpool HTV 2016


Promises! Achievable or just vote catchers

August 18, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots (38 of 102)I am delighted to be the Green’s Mayoral Candidate for Liverpool. I am equally delighted to have the opportunity to see the local papers providing the community with information in relation to the upcoming election. Of interest however is, on reading the details of the six (incl myself) candidates one thing became most clear. Three of them have had 8 years to achieve the things they are promising to do now, two have shown very little interest in the runnings of council previously and only one believed the job of Mayor was about bringing people together.

Let’s get some facts on the table:

The Mayor is not the sole decision maker in council,  I’m thinking this came as a bit of a shock to the #powermadmayor once his power base was lost with the #nolibloveinlivo events of recent months.

Click here for the Leader article on Page three  or

http://http://newslocal.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/showlink.aspx?bookmarkid=GWTLFPAYJD71&linkid=6c5a3bf9-80ee-40d7-8014-c1b22e95480a&pdaffid=flTgD0N%2bsncNlRju4zoiMw%3d%3d

Cllr Hadchiti, is going to ‘pull the budget apart and identify areas of improvement’ Hey councillor you’ve had 8 years to do this, have you been sitting on your hands waiting for the opportunity to run for mayor, with the mess of this past budget you might have wanted to do this a bit earlier?

Cllr Harle wants ‘transparency and financial responsibility’ Again councillor you’ve been part of this council for 8 years what is it about being Mayor that will change  your ability to question the budget? While you have asked questions and been party to some change what will being Mayor change, in your opinion?

Cllr Waller didn’t make rash promises, she unfortunately has lived experience on what she cannot achieve as Mayor if the majority is intent on blocking every possible change until they assume office and claim those changes as their own. FYI Cllr Waller was Mayor for the first 4 years of this current,out of administration, 8 years and was quite hamstrung by a majority of Liberal/independent councillors who opposed much on what appeared political/ideological grounds more oft than not.

Ms Mishra and Mr Sims  seem to be under the impression that the Mayor has special powers/abilities, they can just stop things like rates in their tracks, again this is not the case… the Mayor is the spokesperson/ designated representative (until the majority choose otherwise) he/she is the convenor of a meeting, he/she can add ideas, suggest items and everything else every other councillor can do, with one exception, IF there is a need for a deciding vote in a drawn vote, the Mayor has a casting vote…. rarely if ever actually declared, and used often by the #powermadmayor however available to break tied situations and allow a decision to be made.

There is no magic wand attached to the Mayoral role, as Cllr Waller could tell you I’m sure how frustrating and difficult it can be if the councillors elected by the public have a greater agenda than that of serving the people. So the question should be, who amongst the candidates has the goal or desire to bring together the mishmash of councillors the community see fit to elect? The community decides who they want to represent it and in  Liverpool they also decide who will be the best front person for our city as well as the person who could possibly work with all to bring a cohesive council together. Don’t get me wrong, it won’t be easy but it’s not a magic wand and simply promising to do this or that is tantamount to ludicracy. Populism isn’t governance, it’s about promising what you think your community wants to hear in order to get their vote. Four of the candidates on offer have been regularly involved in council matters, two have shown up at election time with what appears to be little to no knowledge of how a council works. While I am sure they will disagree, this is an important job. Moreover  it’s also an amazing opportunity to tell the NSW Govt that council amalgamations is not on our agenda. The Greens have opposed amalgamations at State and local level and electing a Green to the position of Mayor would be one almighty reminder to Mr Baird et al.

To give myself a little plug while I can, I also have a proven record of wanting transparency, did you know, on nearly every agenda there are confidential items and at times in this council 12 or more items have been ‘in confidence”  Rarely has there been a meeting where all items on the agenda have been open to the public, while I understand privacy issues, you also know that I believe when it involves our rates money we are entitled to the detail… regulations and statutory requirements have privacy as a core protection however, as I’ve stated previously if a shareholder can know the details why can’t the residents?

I, if elected as Mayor or councillor will continue to write about it, I have a reasonable  knowledge of what I can legally share and what I can’t but I know that I will be privy to more facts as a councillor than I do now as a resident who sits in the gallery every month listening to the councillors. I do this now without the detail they have and with a desire to ensure our residents know exactly what is happening with their rates money.

Before you vote for your next Mayor, ask some questions, find out more, simply wanting the job is not enough, our city is too important, the financial status of  our council is too unknown and the future impacts of much still to be made available to the community to impactful to just want the job. While the candidates for the most part seem like decent people, is that enough? A number of them have operated successful businesses, some are academics, some completely unknown to anyone outside their social circle, so investigate, I even invite them to write a response to my comments here and I will post them for you to read, as is.

Most of all, look at all the candidates you elect, not just the parties, Mr Sims is a registered Liberal (according to his nomination form), campaigning/presenting as an independent, Cllr Harle has been in council for 8 years see where his votes have gone, especially in the early days, Cllr Hadchiti has been on council 8 years as well, his allegiance to the outgoing #Powermadmayor has been solid. Me, well I’ve been writing about this for all of those years, just check back anywhere through here, you’ll see I’ve always had an opinion, and I believe once elected the party you represent falls well behind the community who elected you albeit with those values.

 

THIS ELECTION PUT LIVERPOOL FIRST.

 

more soon and again I invite other candidates to share their views, all opinions welcomed.

 

Sign off