Thank goodness for forums,

Signe Westerberg HeadshotsFAV  (78 of 102)I certainly believe more debate & genuine discussion takes place at the forums. Albeit that a number of issues were discussed at the council meeting on Monday night, it still boils down to one up man ship in way too many cases. I guess the plus is that the one up man ship between the independents and the liberals is well taken & oft in jest the same alas that can’t always be said when the Labor faction speaks up.

To council: an extremely large number of items were on the agenda this week, some 440 pages of information, a big read I might add. A couple of public speakers offered support for the Collingwood House management & the possibility of opening it more often & using the grounds for weddings etc .A speaker for the Junction Works proposal personalised an issue & created relevance instead of mere words on the agenda. Two youth Councillors spoke also. Mostly to promote what they had & planned to achieve during their term, although it was interesting I’m still concerned that these young people didn’t bother to address the councillors appropriately. I know I’m old fashioned but what is it about many of the youth of today that has them think that basic courtesies & rules of engagement don’t apply to them? This is a relatively minor issue but across the board it seems that rules are for older people not young people & I was disappointed that no effort appeared to be  made to respect a system & conform even a little. The speaker for the South west growth centre sadly lost credibility as she ranted rather than address issues very important to the residents of the western region, a need to learn quickly that berating, attacking & grandstanding will not provide a favourable outcome & seriously lost the plot instead of driving home some valid arguments.

 Valid questions were asked by Cllr Napolitano & Cllr Harle regarding the shale quarry & the long term effects of the operation, enough so that the DCP setbacks/ buffer zones may be enforced, a good thing for the local & proposed communities. A little annoying was Councillors lack of knowledge regarding carrying over funds & the environmental levy in that these questions were asked & answered at forums & committee meetings all of which they have access to & simply failed to pay attention or read.

A commendable attempt on Cllr Hadchitis’ part to hog tie the RTA into allowing access to the proposed MFIS school on Hoxton Park, although ‘talked down” I‘ve been led to  believe that the original DA did apply to have access & that the RTA’s absolute refusal had them redraw the DA providing access via the residential road system. I could be wrong however. Points though Tony at least you thought outside the box.

One of my biggest disappointments for the evening was the lack of discussion about the bicentenary, seems little content in the minutes & no discussion on the floor. You would think that some of these councillors would be keen to have this event be a door opener for the city, making it inviting & inspirational…alas NOT evident.

Whilst I’m not 100% sure it seems to me that councillors could participate or at the very least attend many of the committee meetings whether or not actually on them & be better informed as to the content. I also understand that they are many & the reality of actually attending all would be highly unlikely but matters such as the bicentenary, our CBD and other important issues would have me wanting to attend & listen to possible ideas & outcomes, where as several of our councillors struggle to attend the committees they are actually on. My feeling here is that many of them bit off more than they could chew when putting their hands up for committees & participation… alas I wish they’d thought of that before they got themselves elected.

The central forum: was as always a lively event, although numbers were down the guest speakers were great & sparked some ever entertaining conversations. Council officers who spoke this week were speaking on child care services & the availability of council buses & halls for hire. Always interesting & as one who considers child care very important but is also very concerned that ours run at a loss I was delighted to hear the losses were going down not increasing. The new Superintendant for Green Valley Police, Steve Chidgey was a delight, he brought us up to date on current technology & his engaging manner had all ready with questions & comment.  That has to be one of the best parts of the forums, the fact you can ask questions & not feel like you’ve bared your soul. As usual lively comments were made on many topics however to one regular & me the Pioneer Park is always a hot topic as we are both very passionate that something has to be done to protect this jewel in the heart of our city. To say you miss out by not attending is an understatement…the passion, the commitment & the wealth of knowledge you gain from these groups is wonderful, as I mentioned last week, I’m hooked & hope to remain so for some time.

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