Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Western/Rural forum, the residents were out in force as were council staff. As you are no doubt aware, council is presenting the operational and delivery program to the community through forums, however the issues of crematoriums and cemeteries is becoming an enormous issue for many of the residents who contacted the GM to ask this be included on the agenda… Council’s executive staff was there in force to both talk about the Budget and to answer questions from the community regarding the developments.
This is truly an emotive issue for these rural residents who feel they are being lumbered with an inordinate number of cemetery proposals and the clear indication is there is no real policy for this from the State Government, who is spending as much time playing the blame game as they are creating new ways of saying not much. OK in fairness its early days and there are no doubt some enormous issues, canning Part 3A was a good start, looking very closely at the JRPP will be another important process but in the mean time what does council do, they cannot ignore development applications, there is no ‘too hard’ basket?
For the most part this was an orderly, well spoken, articulate and engaging meeting, sadly two issues emerged that saddened me, one in particular. A resident accused the council staff of being corrupt. I have heard this type of nasty comment in the past and cautioned these same people on the onus of proof before making such pronouncements, especially publically. The council staff with whom I work and talk seems to me to be an outstanding group of dedicated workers and I take offence at these comments. Obviously when emotions run hot things are said that perhaps shouldn’t but could I ask that unless there is absolute proof (& if there is proof take it directly to ICAC or the police) please watch what you say, disparaging the entire council staff with these unkind statements is extremely hurtful to these same people who work day in and day out to make our city better, cleaner and more appealing for those of us who live, work and play in Liverpool.
On a brighter note, the newly elected member for Mulgoa supplied petitions for the residents to have signed…while she didn’t mention it, but did confirm it, Premier O’Farrell has said that if 10,000 signatures are collected the matter will be debated in Parliament, so I encourage these residents to get those 10,000 signatures asap, remember you don’t have to be a resident to sign the petition you can support the principle of it no matter where you live. If nothing else it would be very interesting to hear what both sides of government have to say about this particular planning issue.