What a complex and somewhat interesting week or so… I started off attending a Transport forum two Saturdays ago in Parramatta, what an interesting and informed group of people. All wanting to work towards more public transport options for the future amidst a government hell bent on creating more ‘truck’ roads. I was delighted to know there are many options available to us, however an ‘unwilling to listen’ government will make that harder I expect.
Then onto the council meeting… I still have no idea where the end of the previous meeting went, I was of the belief that the items unfinished from the previous meeting would be addressed first, however that was not the case. In place of that were some rescission items amongst them a RE DO of committee participation. I’m not sure if this was because of well earned embarrassment on their behalf, or the appalling lack of will, or Cllr Hadid’s announcement that he’d paid his dues or perhaps their previous decision to block all comers other than Liberal participation but the whole thing was re addressed…much to Cllr Hadid’s delight I’m sure, his previous position overturned and is now on about 6 committees, thanks to the Mayors nomination process and Labor managed to earn some places as well. All this is more in line with the touted plan to be more inclusive at the first meeting after the election… things will take some time if on each occasion they need to undo apathy at a follow up meeting. I would also like to see some of the newer councillors go to a little extra effort and get themselves informed on issues prior to the meeting rather than delaying already delayed items with additional visits…. most of you live in the area councillors… go for a drive and have a look please.
Another plus: We also have a lot more “Suits” attending the council meetings now and listening to the speakers/public forum is quite interesting as many companies address council to have their view point shared, their hopes and expectations aired. So far we’ve had Aldi, Kmart, Woolworths, Costco, Gazal and numerous others share their vision and make their requests.
I strongly recommend you watch out in the local papers for the planned changes to how the community at large addresses council… and if they keep to their 5 for and 5 against proposal will the general public be edged out by corporations making sure they are heard. It will also be interesting to see if you feel 3minutes will be enough for you to share your views, considering the corporate all got extensions to their allotted 5mins to 10minutes.
I love hearing from the public, I think it is important, I do however encourage you to make sure you write to council sharing your views as well, as I’ve mentioned before speaking doesn’t constitute a submission.
I also attended the Lighting of the Christmas Tree last Thursday evening, Liberal councillors were there en-mass as was Cllrs Harle, Waller, Shelton & Karnib and MP Gibbons (an almost regular now at council meetings and events). Nice to see so many of our elected officials showing up, sadly it hasn’t always been the way but hope burns eternal it will continue. Sadly another appointment had me leave before the actual ‘lighting’ but you’ll see from the pictures (posted shortly) that many residents turned out and council staff did a fine job of working with everyone to ensure a good time was had by all.
We’ve also had the Mayor on Channel 7 speaking against the Coal Seam Gas projects for Liverpool, YAY – I say- I spoke of this to council some months ago, to date I don’t believe it’s been discussed as a topic in council to get all views and all support but as I believe it is extremely bad for the residents of Liverpool (& Everywhere actually) the environment and the future I am more than happy for Mayor Mannoun to oppose it even if unendorsed.
We need our community aware of this imposition, it’s possible/probable, untested and explored impacts and the real affect it is already having on communities in Queensland not to mention the well documented side effects on community’s in the US. Then of course the ‘accepted’ side effects of water table damage, chemical inclusions in said water and the fact that it is already touted to be worse for the air quality than any carbon in the atmosphere. Anyone interested in finding out more can watch Gaslands the Movie, it’s on at the Dumaresq Cinema, Cnr of Dumaresq & Hurley Streets Campbelltown tomorrow night for $7 a ticket.
Finally today’s announcement that Premier O’Farrell is planning on breaking another election promise by forcing council amalgamations on a number of councils. I’ve included a link to a press release, in that is a link to the Media piece with the announcement. http://davidshoebridge.org.au/2012/12/04/ofarrell-looking-to-break-election-promise-on-council-amalgamations/
Things are somewhat sad in NSW, we now have changes to Workers compensation that date back to pre 1926 entitlements, we have shooting allowed in National parks…how scary is that? Especially if you happen to be one of the horse riders allowed in some National Parks now, who’d have thought you’d need a flouro vest to go horse riding? Just to name a few of the backflips Mr O’Farrell is imposing on NSWelshmen and women. He did however (everyone has a good day) save the Dharawal from mining by making it a National Park… was that so beef can graze and horses could be ridden no doubt? Very scary times ahead, with public service cuts, fire stations being closed, sorry, stood down, school staff being gutted, council rates having a fire levy added/proposed and TAFEs in the firing line, pardon the pun… our future looks a bit bleak. 🙂