Fears vs Facts, results and opinion.

Signe Westerberg Headshots (38 of 102)I have been sitting here thinking about the amazing people I’ve spent time with  during the last 12 months. Here we are nearing  the end of the year, over the last 12 months I have as always been honoured to be sitting along side them at community forums, walking along side them at public functions, actions and  exhibitions and generally being involved with the dynamic people who make up Liverpool. Life has been very busy and my writing has been severely hampered  by the number of things I am doing these days but I am looking forward to a quieter time over the coming months to regroup, re focus and re energise…

2015 is going to be a big year, the NSW people will be again asked to decide who should run the state government and seriously with the disgusting trough trolling of the two old parties I think this will be the year when all voters really have to sit back and say enough is enough. I’ve been thinking about this a lot and  I think is very important… can you blame the two old parties for ignoring you and treating you with contempt, when you keep on voting them in regardless of what they do to you, against you and against our future they really don’t have to worry because come rain or shine, they’ve set it up that one or the other will be re-elected? Well just for the record that’s not necessarily true… you the voter could really shake things up, you could really start the ball rolling on genuine change. Can you imagine how much attention both the old parties would pay us out here in dear old Liverpool if someone other than Labor or Liberal got voted into representing us  in Macquarie St? It’s no secret that I think the Greens offer the most forward thinking and community based policies and even if you don’t agree with them all, there would be very few who would deny our passion and commitment to the community. I do think this coming election will see a bunch of independents raise their hands but the question I ask you is the very same question I asked myself when I ran as an independent….how does  one person know what their whole community wants without a strong and committed team behind them? Needless to say I think Jacqui Lambie is a good example of this, she came into parliament on one promise and now only a few months in she’s changed her mind. Where does this leave those who voted for her promises and commitment now? Well meaning or not, on the money sometimes and others not even close, the hardest part of being an independent is wanting to make sure you are truly representing your community..well it was for me. I have truly appreciated that being part of a party allows you a plethora of opinions, ideas and debate and people listening around the community and having a strong base from which to represent your community.
Anyway back to the basics at home….

I am pleased and saddened to advise that I was pretty much correct in the make-up of the Badgerys Creek Taskforce. While all the names have now been released (via this months Council Agenda) I can say that the first name called was that of Neil Lal, Liberal Party member and former candidate for the Liberals….and if you believe what is in hansard some might even say he’s got a questionable/interesting history. As reported Pauline Rowe is a member (and resident of Badgerys Creek) and Local business Identity Harry Hunt got a guernsey too.  Briona (who’s surname escapes me) was also included compliments of Cllr Wallers request and two others. As I predicted the Greens and likely Labor won’t get any input into what happens in relation to the Badgerys Creek proposed Airport, which is quite sad considering a state election is just around the corner and our local council is making it very clear that they cannot work with others and that it’s their way or the highway….

I am disgusted that even though the community chose to elect more than just the Liberal party onto council, they have a majority therefore if you voted other than Liberal, they refuse to allow your voice be heard. In particular Cllr Stanley has been excluded from every committee, tokenism was shown to other Labor councillors and Cllr Harle got elected (again) to everything that the Libs themselves didn’t want. Being fair and reasonable seems a stretch too far for this #powermadmayor and his cohorts.

Having now attended all but the first few of the Economics  Committee meetings I can report that in some instances the events have had a positive outcome. While many of the events are regulars on the Liverpool calendar, with the economics committee being well supported  has been able to publicise and promote them, clearly better than has been done in the past. As to the night markets I am not convinced the numbers have increased as is often reported, however more people are aware of some of the events which is in itself a good thing for Liverpool.  The night markets are still a bit of an unknown quantity as to success, more and more rates dollars have been allocated to supporting the already heavily subsidised event by council (i.e. you and me) whether value for money that is still to be seen. The #powermadmayor and his cohorts certainly make sure they and their state and federal colleagues get sufficient press and attention, only time will tell if this is for Liverpools benefit or simply with the a state election on the horizon, will  similar will be done in the coming months?  With the intermodal and Badgerys Creek airport hot topics I am sure any opportunity to trot out the Liberal candidates will be taken. I guess the hope is should this be the case, fair and equitable opportunity will be provided for all political persuasions, unlike the past.

It is fair to say I am very politically aware, I have great faith in democracy. I sincerely believe it can be better and with voters so reasonably disillusioned by the old parties as I mentioned above and the few who have been caught with their hands in the till , I am extremely hopeful residents (voters) take the necessary time to really look at the candidates, find out who is seeking to represent them and who is  genuinely wanting to represent them and why. This to me is particularly important as the new seat of Holsworthy is deserving of candidates who want to represent them, not being their second choice as is the case for  the Liberal candidate.

I was also saddened to hear Dr McDonald has decided not to contest the seat of Macquarie Fields in the state election, he is one of the few I consider genuinely wanting to work for his community. I do wish him well in the future. Former Labor member and now Liberal councillor Hadid has announced he will run in the seat of Liverpool against incumbent MP Paul Lynch and rumour has it another Liberal councillor is considering throwing his hat in the ring also. With Barry O’Farrell changing the rules so that councillors cannot be both councillors and Local Members should they be elected would that mean Liverpool would be thrown into a bi-election and at whose cost? Will Mr Hadid be relying on his present Liberal history and celebrity or his many years as a Labor man to garner your vote?

Focusing on all things political is easy for me it interests me on so many levels, I do hope as we move closer to the State election, others might take a little more interest, not only in what a candidate says, but if in fact that candidate has ever shown the slightest interest or involvement  in the past. For instance, look at Liverpool councillors, how many of them actually involved themselves in happenings in Liverpool BEFORE they asked for your vote… 4 out of the 11 were pretty much unknowns (except perhaps to their immediate close circles I guess), while the 7 of the 11  were previous councillors of whom, 5/6 of them had been virtual unknowns (again except to their immediate close circles)…. Should we be demanding more of the candidates who represent us? Should we expect they have some kind of involvement before they seek your vote? Don’t get me wrong, sometimes 1 passionate nobody will achieve more than 10 self serving others… but how do we ensure a better balance for the community? I guess as the state election drawers near I will and I hope will others ask plenty more questions, seek answers and expect more. Fighting for our community is important, we need people who actually aren’t just seeking a long term political career, we need people who really want to achieve while they are there.

Council meeting is tomorrow night, I am particularly interested in one item on the agenda seeking an apology from a Penrith councillor for his shameful remarks about Liverpool and our community. I also see council is suggesting we take on further low interest rate loans and while this may fiscally make sense on occasion, the whole reason for the rates increase over the last 5 and a bit years was to ensure council didn’t over commit on loans. Clearly this is not the case as Liverpool compounds its debt more and more. There is another donation of $25,000 to the Wanderers football club and numerous other items. I will report on more after the meeting….as always if you are there come up and say hi or follow my tweets. I do get a bit tweet happy on council meeting nights 🙂

Thats enough from me for now, please share with me your views and your opinions, get on board when there is something happening across our LGA, good, great,  unfair or unreasonable, even if it doesn’t affect you directly…its time we all fought for the greater good, forgot our nimbyism and thought globally, even locally and less individually. Not long now and the Victorian State election is held, that too will be interesting and a quick well done to my colleagues in the Newcastle electorates who had bi elections due to sticky fingered old party MP’s as our Greens numbers rose significantly and those amazing candidates did themselves, their communities and our party so much good for standing firm on the priorities of good governance and fair representation.


Sign off



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