Council Meeting – 1.12.08

Here we are, the second last Council meeting for the year.

Our illustrious governing body voted themselves the top of the pay scale, sadly only two members of the public (myself being one) made submissions regarding the pay scale this council chose. My recommendation was that the councillors opt for  mid range pay  and promote themselves annually by CPI increases. I felt, considering our Mayor on several occasions throughout her campaign advised that this is not a full time job, paying her in excess of $70,000 per year was excessive. Our Councillors will be paid in excess of $19,000 per year and all will avail themselves of generous allowances on top of that. It appears that Councillor Ned Mannoun thought my idea had merit so he offered it as his motion to council. Nonetheless no-one, including Councillor Mannoun chose to vote in favour of it. Could that have been merely political point scoring Councillor Mannoun?

Some good news for locals though, the Federal Governments $1.258M grant for existing projects will see some welcome improvements made to Collingwood House ($160,000) the Whitlam Centre and the Wendon Centre,  a Luddenham playground and several other works that simply haven’t had the funding available, take reasonable chunks from the $1,258M. All this and all our Mayor had to do was show up. Thanks  Mr. Rudd.  There is also another $2M up for grabs and our council is considering proposing further upgrades to the Whitlam Centre that should be approved.

Of a little concern to me is that on two occasions now, Councillors have gone into closed session to discuss two separate matters involving development. Is this how things begin?

What is of huge concern to me is that our councillor’s have considered changes to subdivision in Denham Court. I note that the applicants feel they have siginificant need, but is this precedent appropriate? Is it not that they own land in what is zoned Rural 1(c) and that their neighbours purchased land in the knowledge that all allotments would be no less than 2 hectares? If this is, as is being suggested by the Councillors, taken to the Land & Environment Authority it will be a hugely expensive exercise (Estimated by Council Officers to be in the vicinity of $600,000) at the rate payers cost that directly opposes our own recently gazetted  Liverpool Local Environment Plan (LLEP). If  these people felt the zoning was inappropriate, why didn’t they lodge their complaints when the LLEP was on public display only a few short months ago? It isn’t right that the rate payers of Liverpool now foot the bill to have this ‘single’ family be able to subdivide their land. Do we not have the IHAP Panel there to work on behalf of Council to advise independently for this exact reason?  Ladies and Gentlemen, not all development applications are going to be approved. Our council is there for the whole community and from what I’ve read in the development application they offer no compelling or valid reason for this alteration. We as a community spent a great deal of money preparing, executing, publicising and presenting the LLEP with all it’s lands studies etc, shouldn’t we now have to accept the choices we made?

Councillor Lucas made reference to his chairing the Heritage Committee and kudos to him for suggesting and having passed that all the 8 nominees be included in the panel, the more community input in matters of this nature the better, plus the volunteers give their time free to council and our community and on most occasions are just as passionate and involved as those who do add to the overall cost of  projects.

Chipping Norton Lakes Proposed State Park: If this particular item goes ahead, obviously once all the appropriate concerns have been met, this will save our Council considerable money each year. Costs that now go into maintaining the area will be borne by NSW Department of Lands. I’ll be watching this one, nothing would change for us as locals other than the crown land would be under the auspice of NSW State rather than LCC. And that sounds like a good deal to me.

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2 Responses to Council Meeting – 1.12.08

  1. Inga Leonora says:

    I’m horrified that one of the first things our newly elected council should do is increase their own pay packets! It is really quite abhorrent. Is this what we are to expect from this council going forward, consistent attention to its own best interest? Or at some point will we be graced by a council determined to meet the needs of their constituents?

    Is there any way that we can shout down the proposed expense of needless and tiresome consideration for re-zoning Denham Court? Or as you suggest, if this precedent is set, can we each as individuals start making our plans to have $600k spent on us similarly? I’d like to know if we can petition council to have this proposal quashed.

    Truly, there is much to be desired in the rationale of this new council and it is my great hope that Liverpudlians take every opportunity to keep them in check. After all we are less than a few months in to a 4 year term…

  2. Signe says:

    Thank you for your comment:

    A conversation with Clr Lucas advises me that the costs of the rezoning at Denham Court were grossly over stated, (I quoted figures given by the Council staff) my comment to that is still the same, I don’t want rate payers money spent on single purpose rezoning. As I mentioned there is probably good reason for this family wanting to rezone. Perhaps this family should bare costs associated with persuing this and any rezoning… then we would see how keen they are to follow through. Often times requests like this are vehermently persued as long as someone else is paying for it. I still however, think that this would prove grossly unfair to all those other families who have chosen this lifestyle on acreage based on the Liverpool Local Environment Plan (LLEP)… to perhaps now be surrounded by subdivided lots. I might not be able to nor interested in this choice but some are and they shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. Plus I believe this type of precedent should be avoided.

    As for the Pay issue, I should not have been surprised… how little things change!

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