I think I’ve covered most, certainly not all, Council meeting 29.8.11

I have just begun to absorb some of the things that happened at last night’s council meeting, so to start at the very beginning, we now offer a $100,000 reward for anyone able to tell the police who burnt down No 1 Hoxton Park Rd on August 15th 2010.

There will be a carbon impact debate on the 5th October, with Senator Lee Rhiannon and the other 4 federal members who work in various parts of our LGA for the residents of Liverpool. It will be heartening if those members actually choose to represent their part in the Carbon Tax debate and not fob it off onto media chasing protagonists or staffers (my presentation to council here).  Cllr Lucas believes anyone less than a Senator is a half witted lackey, so bring your best, Members.

Somewhere somehow our cash strapped city council has managed to source enough funds to purchase  48-52 Scott Street, here when we are unable to repair roads but seems money has been found to purchase this property, one I might add has been vacant for much longer than leased in my 51 year memory. While I’m not against property ownership it would be nice to have a more transparent process, seems the brightest smiles in the room came from the now previous owner and his real estate agent.  Coincidentally the seller of one property was also the person seeking rezoning on another, and again while I don’t for a minute purport any wrongdoing, the secrecy does make one feel uneasy.

Next was an attempt by Cllr Lucas to make the entire CBD Mall smoke free. As a non smoker I don’t like the smell of cigarettes but I do acknowledge that it will impact on the shop keepers of the mall, having said that I don’t envy the rangers who are  likely to have to enforce this.

Road problems in Munday Street raised their head again, seems this area has a long history of road issues and with the planned developments in that small precinct I cannot see them improving anytime soon.

I was disappointed to hear Cllr Lucas say he felt the graffiti problem had worsened and planned to pre-empt the removal of the tanks at CPAC, gee when I started putting my year in review piece together I felt that graffiti removal was the only real positive in the last year, sheesh… now that’s even gone.

Many things towards the end of the meeting got clumped together and approved, seems if you want to get something through unnoticed like committee attendance, just hope it is placed late on the agenda.It was 11.30 when we finished last night and although I nearly bet a return event I should have suspected nothing less.

As the majority of councillors will be attending the LG Assoc meeting in Nowra the October meeting will now be held on the 17/10/11 not the 24th. The GM’s quarterly review was held over until next month, I have to admit I delight in these for one main reason, they came about because a couple of years ago I suggested to the GM Phil Tolhurst he should do a presentation not just a report. I delighted then that he took up my suggestion and delight now as it continues, far easier for the community to see what is happening rather than merely struggle through numbers.

The community forums charter was accepted, and while I rarely agree with Cllr Hadchiti, who has recently decided to attend a few of the forums, albeit he arrives late, he encouraged more members of the community to attend and asked that investigations into how to enlist local residents to participate could be achieved. Sadly after this and during a debate on the abovementioned purchase, the same councillor made a threatening comment to Cllr Stanley for asking questions he felt could have been answered previously. Not nice councillor and certainly not within the code of meeting practice, although from past history sanctions are a waste of time as he chooses to ignore them anyway.  All his protesting managed to achieve was that some councillors appear to have been privy to information before others. I still find it interesting that our new purchase just happens to be alongside the property allowed the 8 year extension at last month’s meeting that resulted in 2GLF being given their marching orders. There will be more on 2GLF in tomorrow’s papers as both media groups were there to photograph their protest prior to the meeting. Seems only half the information is getting through on this matter and I believe in time the actual time line of events and conversations will be available for all to see, despite the GM’s address.

I was extremely disappointed in that my comments regarding the Collingwood precinct didn’t make it into the summary, seems now 2 of my submissions haven’t been forwarded or appear lost in cyberspace. Note to self, add a receipt response in future. Alas I wasn’t, I’ve been told the only one who’s submission comments were lost or didn’t appear.

Our planning officers must be pulling their hair out, listening to the discussion on planning decisions, in one instance the Cllrs decided to un-approve a previous DA approval after the client had made the required changes. Ok in some instances this can be done through a rescission motion, not simply by saying no I’m a councillor therefore I can. 

 The usual love hate relationship with MP Lynch reared its head again, seems some councillors cannot resist the need to jab in a comment whether appropriate or not.

So congrats Liverpool, we own another building,(I say we after all it’s our rates dollars at work) that’s two in a year… and rest assured the details will mostly likely come out once the ink is dry. I am an optimist, I live in hope of complete transparency, but in the meantime, have a read through the papers next month to see what actually happened, and thanks to Cllr Mannoun who stepped in to chair the meeting while Mayor Waller is (I think) in Italy (refer previous minutes) a baptism of fire so to speak as his colleagues were as lacking in respect to him on some occasions as they are the Mayor on most occasions.

Finally to the council’s meeting typist, congrats you are terrific, with what is thrown at you; you do an amazing job, well done!

Lastly if you heard something differently or I missed something important last night to what I’ve got here, please let me know, there was a lot to absorb and a very full agenda, I  endeavour to make sure what I write is an accurate recount of events I’m happy to have your comments and opinions.


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