Council meeting 29.6.09

Last night saw the rescission motion for the School at Hoxton ParkSigne Westerberg Headshots (38 of 102) Rd lost.  A number of residents are understandably disappointed as well as the many hopeful parents of students to attend are delighted.  Sadly this issue is being portrayed as racial, yet for those of us who have been keeping a close eye on the situation are well aware it is more about the access than anything else.  Even though the school is approved  to go ahead, the light at the end of this tunnel is that the school board is still looking to work with the residents so all involved will get a positive outcome.  There is still time to lobby the State Govt and the RTA to reconsider access via Hoxton Park Rd which with the installation of a private access road and hopefully a walk bridge will allay any concerns for safety.

Most people who attend do so for their one particular issue. Meeting after meeting we see people attend the council meeting for their issue and leave.   There are a few of us who attend to watch what is happening all over the LGA. And I have to say, after the school vote, not much else happened.  Pretty much they moved through the agenda with their rubber stamp, ticking the boxes and shuffling paper. Cllr Lucas and Harle both presented council with awards presented to them (on behalf of council), Cllr Harle for the GRCCC hosting Council had done over the last two years and Cllr Lucas  from the Cities for Climate Protection Program for reaching Level 5. Although somewhat ambiguous in that I’m not aware if 5 is the top or half way etc, but his comments later that he thought it amusing he accepted the trophy when he doesn’t believe in any of that global warming guff made me wonder… who of Councillors’  does care about the environment. I am a member of the LCC environment advisory committee so I am aware that the council on the whole has a program working towards a better environment, but how much can be achieved if our councillors don’t give a damn? I find it a little disillusioning that this even is a debate.  Forget the rhetoric, shouldn’t we as human beings care about our planet, shouldn’t we be aiming to impact less not more. I attended a sustainability symposium last Friday and was taken when one of the keynote speakers said (I Paraphrase)  why do we aim to just  impact less when we should be aiming at creating a better environment not just minimise harm. Here we are in Australia debating on how much is enough effort, why aren’t we saying this is our home, what can we do to improve and enhance our interaction with nature, not just how much is acceptable to damage and not feel bad.

Two weeks ago a colleague (Bill Cashman) and I sent off a press release to the local papers asking who of our councillors are willing to declare where they stand on the issue of resource management and sustainable power initiatives. With so many things happening locally this has not as yet been taken up, so when will it become important, when will we know if there is support of our environment amongst our elected few?

I get pretty indignant on this topic, I would like to buy an electric car, but I can’t… there isn’t one. And if I did, it would run on coal generated electricity when here in Australia we have an abundance of sun, wind, wave and geothermic options.  None of which are in place in any real manner, and if and when the vehicle makers do embrace the technology of electric or alternative cars, will I be able to afford them on my humble salary? WHEN will all this become important and not merely a laughing matter in council chambers and the like?

If I sound disillusioned I am, I asked a councillor after the meeting what had happened to debate after the school motion was handled and he said “I pretty much lost interest after the motion was lost, we discuss stuff in there (pointing to the councillors room) which probably isn’t right.”  I and others attend council meetings week after week to watch democracy in action. That was “in”-space-“action” not inaction) There were other matters on the agenda, so it seems if we lose our favourite, we don’t want to play anymore…this is crap and I expect more… where is the passion?

Enough of my rant, I guess wanting a better city, better environment etc is a big ask. There is so much happening in Liverpool, did you know that Railcorp wants to build a car park on the Remembrance Drive Park (Green space) along the highway at Warwick Farm, did you know that the residents of Casula (& Warwick Farm)  still aren’t getting any noise walls from the rail or from the M5. Did you know that residents in Cecil Hills are fighting to save the native reserve (lakes) across from their homes, that the residents of Kemps Creek watched as the OTC heritage items were bulldozed into oblivion, that if you live further west that Carnes Hill the idea of catching a bus to Liverpool is a daydream and a cab will cost anything up to $110 to get you home. So much is happening and they lose heart after one loss…damn I want more, I expect more.

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