A hefty agenda was available (attached) and it began. First the election of a chair person took a good 10-15mins, for a change the Labor members weren’t outnumbered as the State & Fed members were able to vote also… Cllr Anne Stanley was elected to chair this event and apologies were noted from the Mayor Wendy Waller, the deputy (whose idea this was) Ned Mannoun (who is now holidaying in the US after attending an all expenses paid trip to a conference on Intermodal’s, [more on this later] this time however we weren’t the ones paying). Cllr Lucas, Minister Lynch & Ferguson and none of the members from Penrith or Camden etc were in attendance.
Fed Member for Fowler Chris Hayes apologised that he had another meeting and would have to leave at 8pm and State MPs Alison Megarrity and Dr Andrew McDonald were in attendance, about half an hour in Menai member Kelly arrived. Although a couple of attempts to incite argument were made by our fiberal councillors the state and federal members were able to calm the conversation and make our Lib/Ind’s look pretty lame. Not much was forthcoming from the Labor ranks although renegade Labor councillor McGoldrick had listed 5 items for discussion. In consideration of Chris Hayes having to leave early they brought forward a couple of matters deemed a federal flavour and discussed them. Intermodal’s have the full support of the Federal member and both councillors and state members have reservations or outright refuse to accept the installation. CCTV was discussed as were the methadone clinics, infrastructure shortfalls and the sports stadium before Chris Hayes left. MP Megarrity, with the support of Dr Andrew McDonald had a heated and yet polite conversation regarding the need for Libraries albeit without any positive outcome from our stubborn councillors who feel it has been discussed at length and they would be sticking to their initial motion. MP MacDonald spoke clearly and with an obvious grasp of the needs and concerns regarding the methadone clinics. The two hours went pretty quickly, and at 9pm it was all over but for the goodbyes. The outcome perhaps could be summed up by saying Chris Hayes will attempt to get a time frame/ process list on the intermodal, the state MP’s will look at funding for infrastructure and libraries and our councillors will still close some libraries.
Hopefully like many items on councils list this will take considerable time and we might have some Greens representation on a new council in 2012 that will fight for Libraries on behalf of the community they represent.
The only regret I have is not putting money on Mr Lynches attendance,(although not a gambler) once the meeting was declared open to the public it was an almost certainty he wouldn’t show, and while predicting same I could have made some cash if there was anyone out there who actually thought he might come even though he added 4 items to the agenda himself. Alas it’s all over but the paper reviews until next time… who knows if we keep the agenda to about 6 -8 items we might actually get some answers, viewpoints and real debate, without the huff and puff of finger pointing and electioneering. Congratulations to those 4 members who chose to attend, it will be interesting to see how and if they deemed it worthwhile enough to attend again. Let’s hope so.