I know I promised to be more regular with my writing, I know I said I wanted to write positive things and I know many of you are happy with your choices, but seriously do you know what your choice has and is doing?
Firstly why not writing: easy, I don’t want this to be a naysayers blog and wait, secondly, there is little positive to write and thirdly It’s time you paid attention… seriously.
I did attend the last council meeting; I watched in awe or was that aghast as the pre-written pre approved events unfolded. While many of you think you live in a democratic Liverpool, just as many of you are wrong. Liverpool is being led by the nose anywhere the mayor or his minders want us led. Don’t get me wrong, whoever is calling the shots is at least writing the words to go with them, because reality has it either no one is capable or worse still no one is allowed. I watched as we were hoodwinked into the sale of more parks, by callously clever people who chose not to indicate the name of a park but chose its street address to avoid the community dissent that reared its head last time they tried to sell it. But alas doing so around an election time is clever, I simply didn’t have the time to examine closely what was being put before us, nor it seems did those who rallied last time. 28 days seems like a reasonable time to garner community view, but timing is everything and from what I am seeing, the next round of selling off our public space will fall around about Christmas and the weeks leading up to it or immediately thereafter. There will be some happy business people in Moorebank who simply had to wait for council to render them a new parking space at the expense of students and residents, but hey the students don’t pay rates and the residents by and large aren’t paying attention… and no that is not a good enough reason to screw them over, our council was elected to represent them not stick it to them. My opinion only but again how many of you are paying attention.
At this time of year I genuinely watch closely as to who will be your Councillor rep on the committees of council… I do so for two reasons, some Councillors in the past actually achieve things on those committees and two, well more than 50% of the time said Councillors fail to show up. I know I’ve said all this before… but wait there’s more……..this time a well scripted Cllr Balloot showed up with a pre ordained version of who should be on committees and clearly who should not, and having the majority got to royally screw Labor over in the process… and as an irony few will appreciate they screwed over Cllr Harle as well. See of all the Councillors Cllr Harle does actually show up, he attends and participates. So any committee it appeared they couldn’t find a Liberal mildly interested in was shot over to Cllr Harle, pay back I guess for being on their side much of the time (sarcasm). I even asked his wife on the way out if she has a picture of him for the fridge as she won’t be seeing much of him from now on. For committees by and large they aren’t an engaged lot.
The question is who organised this shafting of Labor, I have no doubt the Liberal majority wanted it to happen but have grave concerns any of them were suitably talented to orchestrate it, so is this what the Policy Advisor does? Was there a caucus? Is this how our staff is being used? So many questions, so few answers….
Another interesting out come was the reelection of the Deputy Mayor Mazhar Hadid…not the norm, but hey what is?
When you have sat through as many council meetings as I have, btw no Councillor has sat through as many as I have, and watched the behaviour of the mob, it was disappointing to watch as Labor genuinely got hammered publicly and without grace. Even their protestations were ignored, any sense of reason refuted and the representation of almost half of the voters stymied. Well as it seems even those who could be considered – supporters – are now feeling the angst. Especially those who live in our Rural area who listen to shows on commercial TV when the Mayor decides that not only is an airport good for them but let’s throw in the intermodal as well. But in fairness, there are only a few thousand votes in Rural Liverpool at the moment compared to the several thousand in Wattlegrove. Reasonable when you listen to the PM trying to justify an expenses rort by saying he’d not bothered to campaign in Port Macquarie as there were too few votes in it in the first place. Where the head leads the tail follows I suppose…
Another clever ploy is to merge committees, this time it was the Environmental Advisory Committee (you pay a levy for this one to mind your environment and waterways) and the Heritage committee. Could someone please explain to me how that will work? I am on the EAC as your rep and have been so for quite some time, and while I love our history am I in anyway qualified to represent it… I think not, especially when there are others who are genuinely more capable to do so. But this is now a one councillor suits all so that eliminated another for Cllr Harle…oops..He’s on the EAC… problem solved.
Ok that’s a couple of items from the council meeting, there are more and you should check them out. In some ways they have achieved their goal, even I don’t bother to comment or make a submission as often, as the last time I did, I wrote about Cllr Hadchiti’s comments about ignoring the submissions. This is temporary though as I am genuinely concerned about our city and will be heard, even if then to be ignored I will share my views and those of the people I speak with regularly.
I was also the community representative on the previous CBD committee and now attend as an observer to the economics committee… and it hasn’t taken long for many of the members to fail to show up, including some councillors. The thing I’m finding the most interesting is that when the previous CBD committee came up with an idea or solution to something it took months and months and months to come to fruition if at all. With all the checks and balances, all the excuses why things took so long, and now so much is rubber stamped I am beginning to doubt the support we were getting from the GM and maybe even some of his staff. Whilst for the most part the staff are truly diligent and supportive, everything took forever, we constantly heard that the wheels of govt, even local govt, turned ever so slowly….
So what has changed? The previous Mayor/committee got little support from the GM who was constantly highlighting road blocks in the way of ideas and outcomes, but now everything has changed, things are happening faster. This raises some real concerns for me, because the CEO/GM is employed for a number of reasons, one of which is enabling the decisions of Councillors Now we have a Liberal majority is he more compliant, is he more amenable – WHAT? Changes to the parking are happening, soon there will be a markets night in the CBD, little things and some big and some quite good, but why aren’t there the delays the previous council/committee experienced over and over again. I am not really expecting an answer on this it’s just my opinion and observation…. that said he wasn’t in attendance today so even if I wanted to ask I couldn’t have, ironically of those elected to the committee or invited I’d say only about 50% were there anyway, numbers are already falling, perhaps because of the date change but who knows. Today’s speakers were very interesting, both UWS (Andy Marks) and Western Sydney First Program (NSW Business chamber) David Borger shared some interesting plans and ideas. Sadly the latter is very keen on the Airport in Badgery’s Creek so I am truly hopeful the proposed consultation genuinely takes place and the people most affected really do get a voice.
Finally if you noted all the council meetings when they were advertised at the beginning of the year, check again, another has been changed and you might need to organise another night.
Please remember I will post your comment if you want to send it in…. I am not always right and happy to share your view.