Count down to the end of 2013

Signe Westerberg Headshots (96 of 102)I am back from visiting the lovely city of Hobart, while an old city and not offering all the mod cons of free wi fi and boasting (unmonitored) CCTV its a lovely clean city full of charm. One that is pleasant to walk around as the citizens appear to attentive to its appearance and don’t expect the council to clean up after them all the time…well at least not that I saw in my short visit. The people are much the same,there were  none with  two heads or anything unusual, they drive as erratically as anyone on a NSW road and of course have higher than average unemployment but the community pride is palpable and a pleasant to be around.

So why do I mention this, it’s simple I am presently reading and re reading the minutes of the coming and last council meetings and contemplating what hair brained idea this bunch of councillors will come up with next. Pride cannot be purchased, wi fi and cctv will not make people proud of Liverpool, a new car park may be desirable but at what cost to the amenity of the citizens? I see a number of DA’s being supported and of course the expected  approval for items organised early in this councils term. I have now said it to a few privately but I can honestly say (Something I’d never expected) that I am very glad not to be connected with this council as it stands. I am thoroughly disappointed in the antics of the Liberal side of this council and sadly the humility thrust upon the Labor side.  The fact that this council is again seeking an increase in rates when anyone paying close attention can see the waste. We have a large property portfolio, Council are developers who are building town houses on land that was once community use – an income bearer that is all but invisible and as an example we rate payers are paying rent on the north building of No 1 Hoxton Park Road, of $170,000 Plus GST  when most of 48-52 Scott St (Another council owned building) is vacant.  Millions is being spent on CCTV that will simply record happenings in the CBD, it is NOT monitored thereby creating a false sense of safety to the community, we’re also offering free wi fi to anyone visiting the CBD, most of whom won’t be residents when we have countless roads needing attention outside the CBD.

Surveys are being posted on the council webpage that are for all account and purpose leading/biased in their wording, that’s not just my opinion btw, others have commented to me. I know a number of residents in the Badgery’s Creek area, who have not been contacted by council for their views on the proposed airport, yet those not directly affected are being asked.  Please take time to fill in the questionnaire council posted you regarding the rate increase, I suggest you do the math yourself, as it was of concern to me that what we save is significantly different from  what we’re expected to pay on option one and two. While separate responses from my husband and I are being counted as one as they come from the same IP Address, logically so will any response from a resident who used the local library or local business address  to complete the survey . It would also be interesting to know how many (02)47 numbers were called in the telephone survey. Also worth noting is that Blacktown with its similar residential breakdown voted NO to the airport (letter in the business papers)… hmmm. More over on the airport, I can only see the result of an Secondary Airport at Badgery’s Creek as a future Mascot, bringing with it all the problems of the present airport at Mascot…especially since the south west growth centre is touted as one of the largest housing developments in the state in decades…if Mascot is such a nightmare why are we duplicating it out here? Is it because the present bunch of administrators will be long gone and won’t have to deal with the fall out of poor decision making or as I’ve commented previously as dumping other peoples ‘unwanted’ on Liverpool. Oh please too note, that the 20,000 promised jobs will be over 30 years or so, many in the construction so therefore not ongoing. We could employ so many more people ongoing by thinking forward and creating an industrial park that centred on renewable energy solutions, providing Australian made products that move this whole country into the future not dwelling on old technologies etc, How about scrubbing the idea of the additional freight airport and building a facility that makes our own hardware for the VFT (Very Fast Train) – especially if QANTAS, the major opponent of a VFT, is heading off shore anyway. What is not being included in the information being shared by those supporters of the airport is that it is a secondary (NOT SECOND) airport, small aircraft and freight are to use the proposed airport not A380’s etc. Therefore no shop/foodie  jobs like Mascot, as freight rarely buys trinkets. Also of major concern is that Melbourne’s second airport Avalon recently laid off over  300 workers and the QANTAS maintenance facility closed losing more jobs, is this the precursor of Liverpool in 10/15/20 years?.

We have to start thinking forward, we need our council to live within its means and stop the BS and cow-towing to  Liberal party politics … (I wonder if this is  why we pay for an advisor, so he gets the policy in line with the Liberal party?) Don’t get me wrong we need and should encourage the investment in our LGA,   we need business to invest but we want jobs for people who live here now, we need them trained and retrained in business development and opportunities that move us into the 21/22 and 23rd centuries sustainably and practically. We need to do this positively and practically, we need TAFE’s supported to train and re-train our population and cost effectively unlike private enterprise who often offer a lesser outcome for a higher investment. We aren’t the dumping ground that the present 3 levels of government think we are. 

Interestingly PWC Price Waterhouse Coopers comments that we  have a $ 47M surplus beggars the question why a RATE INCREASE at all?

I attended a council committee meeting a week or so ago, where local developers were singing the praise of a future residential development in Liverpool, it sounded delightful, but the comment that sale prices should be much higher than they are presently in Liverpool was of concern, if lets say we sell new units for in excess of $400,000 as was hoped and the same developers and business owners want to reduce wages etc, who is going to be able to afford them? Higher costs of sale will lead to higher rents, reductions in wages will mean less to spend on rent, could someone please explain to me how the big end of town expects this to work, or are they preparing for a class situation where some few live in luxury and the rest shacks?
As I mentioned there is a council meeting on Wednesday, the last for 2013 unless of course their ineptitude requires and additional extraordinary meeting squished in before COB 2013.

It’s interesting to note we have a replacement for the executive officer dismissed in September, lets hope due diligence was enacted and we’re not thrust into the positions we were last time. Also Better Practice reform processes will be nice, we’re as a community hopeful all bases are covered after the lessons learned and failure of process with the fire in 2010.

Lastly if you think I pose a lot of questions and voice dissent, take time to actually read the business papers, Cllrs:  Harle, Shelton and Stanley ask lots too or is it perhaps some of the others don’t read the business papers in the first place 😛 . It strikes me that much is not covered and transparent to our community, by asking questions we can at least advise that some of us are paying attention… something I understand many don’t have time for but possibly should look closer. click here for http://www.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/council/council-meetings  the agenda, attachments and addendum – you need to scroll down a bit or if you’re just interested in the basic agenda (minus the CCTV doc in the addendum) Council Agenda – 18 December 2013.

 

For now that is enough questions and concerns, I will be at the council meeting on Wednesday as always and would love it if you came up introduced yourself and said Hi…

I love Liverpool, its people and its promise, what I don’t like is our elected thinking we’re stupid and can put things past us without us knowing.

Have a good day and I’ll see you out and about soon. and BTW, debt even with a smaller interest rate is still debt…(you’ll see what I mean in the Business papers)

19\12\13 FYI Cllr Harle assures me 48-52 Scott st has tenants and is earning rent….. It does appear that the street front however is not so fully tenanted. Tks Peter.

Sign off

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