Last Wednesday night was our council meeting and while they very often leave me feeling annoyed, this week they took it all the way to disgusted… not only do our illustrious councillors feel the need to spend your rates money at every opportunity, now they think they have the right to decide who lives where… for a little background. One item on the agenda was the recommended approval of a boarding house in Miller. If you’ve been paying attention of late you will know there are a number of people from all walks of life, homeless or needing short term accommodation. Everyone from single mothers seeking refuge from violence, to young people needing a safe place to live, or homeless people and even those who are transitioning from gaol or medical health issues. The boarding house was to provide short term (3mth) accommodation which could in essence assist many, any or all of the above… and no doubt others. I was horrified to note the discussion relating to the desirability of the tenants. Since when do Councillors get to decide where someone lives, does this mean they will now have say over all tenancies or just those of the poor or needy? A quick attempted save was a remark to say the two car spaces would be insufficient but sadly not even this back flip was enough to undo the distasteful comments. To her credit, Cllr Stanley was the only one to speak for the recommendation put forward by council staff to approve the development… and pointed out that council does not decide who tenants. It’s important to note that we pay for and have the benefit of the experience of trained and qualified staff who in this instance supported the development. Being a Liberal majority council one would have thought the provision of only two parking spaces was indicative of the poor status of the tenants especially in light of the Federal Treasurers comments that poor people can not afford cars and if they did, didn’t travel very far. I find the arrogance of comments about peoples status appalling and am saddened it has reached Liverpool, probably more disappointing was that Cllr Harle spoke against the development as I generally give him the credit of representing all people in Liverpool. It has been mentioned that another use of an 11 bedroom facility could be a brothel, however most brothels would I believe consider parking for their clients a priority. Since when do councillors decide who is eligible to reside in Liverpool?The Mayor took time to speak for 300sq/m blocks because he has now built a new home on one….well if that isn’t good enough what is? Nice to see we base our decisions on what councillors themselves are up too, not unlike Cllr Mamones comments some months back assuring fellow councillors of her experience when building. While it is nice they share their personal views, I do feel more credit should go to those who have actual credentials in determining development and in the present circumstance where NSW boasts the best politicians money can buy (Thankfully not yet reaching Liverpool), we should be more diligent in providing accurate, educated and trained opinion not personal views on the poor, the ill or the needy.
Also on the agenda was the proposed sale of more parks, on this occasion they opted to defer and I am hopeful good sense prevails and Councillors decide to stop selling off our parks and open space altogether, especially in light of the smaller and smaller lot sizes. Parks are and will be essential and once sold they are gone to the community forever. Selling rather than developing the Green Valley Music land on Heckenberg avenue. Then of course the Liberal Councillors wholeheartedly supported the continuation of the free room use for the Liverpool Action Group who incidentally haven’t paid for a room for 6 years and despite their good community work have managed to produce a Councillor of their own…the former cllr Lucas was a founding member of this group. My suggestion is, why don’t we follow Leichhardt’s councils lead and allow all political groups free room hire in the view to aid democracy? Listening to the Mayors lavish praise of this community group would have one hope that if the 2168 action group, or the Warwick farm action group or perhaps the Preston’s one would garner the lavish praise that LAG did and they too could get free room hire in the library or similar if they met the criteria. The new CEO had made some changes in staffing and this has had some impact on finances, the current financial status was on the agenda, as were many committee meeting notes all with their attendance information. With September a sleep away and with that the next council meeting being the one where they nominate for committees I live in hope they will only nominate for committees they will actually attend. With almost 50% non attendance by Liberal Councillors on nominated committees perhaps this year they will share the load more reasonably and if lucky those committees will see actual Councillors in attendance more than half the time.
This last week or two has been particularly busy for me, I had met with my Greens colleagues on Monday at our monthly meeting, Council on Wednesday and Thursday the combined Georges River councils gathering at Fairfield. A great initiative from Bankstown council regarding littering was one idea presented to the GRCCC and I will endeavour to share it with Council as our Cllr representative Peter Ristevski was again not in attendance. Another was on waterways and I enlisted the speakers help in protecting the Georges from the Intermodal. The week prior I attended the Urban forum and was delighted to see a number of new faces in the group, mostly as the Intermodal was on the agenda but I am hopeful some of those new faces will choose to attend again. I will repost the OMG (One minute Greens) links below so those interested in the intermodal can refresh themselves on mine and the local Greens opposition to the enormity of the proposed intermodal at Moorebank. Some will already be aware that the NSW Greens have been speaking against this enormous project along the Georges River since early 2000’s (4 I think) and while the idea of intermodals is a good one, placement and impact on communities is far more important. Same can be said of Airports but I’ll leave that for another day.
I have lots to share but will close for now, below is the link I promised, ( you can view all 12 if interested and most are only 1 minute long) so have a look. If you have a view different to mine, as always let me know, if you’d like to make a comment, please do.
Don’t forget tomorrow…ok later today is the March in August in at Hyde Park (AKA Bust the budget) … hopefully I’ll see you there.
Next Saturday will be another of the night markets and as another $100,000 of rates money has been allocated to keeping them alive, you might want to have a look at what is happening, who is entertaining and operating stalls at this monthly event.
til next time.