We are about to embark on what is traditionally a joyous and completely complicated time of year, while many/even most people enjoy the Christmas giving season, too many others are distraught with sadness, uncertainty and misgivings…
Here is a quick catch up from me.
I am going to start with my thankfulness for the company of some truly outstanding people I’ve come across and worked with throughout the past year. Liverpool’s residents are by far an amazing collage of people, cultures and levels of engagement all making that fine fabric we call Liverpool. To all those people I say thank you and may these coming weeks, bring, rest and enjoyment and the company of family and friends.
Council…that’s a whole different subject I’m afraid to say. Lots of our rate paying dollars are being directed at pet projects so the Liberal councillors can claim they have achieved things. In fairness they have achieved a little, or to be more accurate they have managed to finalise tasks that were initiated in the previous council and brand them with their stamp. One such success is the Men’s shed that opened only last week. Many of us have been singing the praise of such establishments for quite some time and through the diligence of some of our residents it has come to pass… quite an amazing establishment on the entrance of Casula Powerhouse road, a stone’s throw from the Georges River. My sincere congratulations to the steering committee and the many residents who donated not only time but tools for this brilliant initiative. Next imo is a hope that these fine residents extend their hand of friendship and support to Mates for Mates and encourage another outstanding community group to appreciate the wonderful facilities as well.
The Mens shed opening
The Night markets have proved controversial to many residents, tens of thousands of rates dollars have now be seconded to support this project… and whether or not it’s proven successful is equally controversial. Not many I’ve spoken with consider this a viable/valuable use of their rates, especially with the limited residential participation. It has, as have many other council paid for events proved a popular stage for supporting the Federal and State Liberal members, sadly it doesn’t appear that the other (non-Liberal) members of parliament have been afforded the same courtesy. Even at the opening of the Men’s shed only Liberal MP’s were in attendance and while I’m not 100% sure of the invitation detail, one even claimed ownership over another MP’s electorate.
While it is pleasing that there appears to be renewed business interest in the CBD, and the powermadmayor’s penchant for counting cranes as a measure of success, much of this is due to the present and previous NSW state govt’s directive to increase housing infill and of Greenfield building has Liverpool abuzz with building activity. My sincere concern that what is being put in place contains contingencies for ongoing maintenance and renewal is secured for the future. Much of the business interest is being attributed to the Badgerys Creek airport announcement a few months ago. Add to that the increased vehicular activity on our roads from the intermodal where both developments will prove to be a nightmare for residents over the coming years. No genuine consideration has been given to the impacts on the community, our farm lands, our rivers and our future health outcomes above that of the need for the greater community instead of the needs of ours. The opening of another lane on the M5 last week is no doubt designed to trick the community into thinking the progress is for their benefit, alas the steady increase of trucks on our roads will prove who will be the prime target in coming months and years.
Onto a couple of things we really need to keep an eye on. At the last council meeting of the year a couple of properties were approved for public exhibition from community land to operational land.
While the title seems a little ambiguous the reality is that the Hilda M Davis senior citizens hall (our most central and one of the largest) could be sold from underneath us….as with some other community lands. What disgusts me most about this is the council’s decision to put these on public exhibition over the holiday period. Notoriously a time when fewer of our residents are paying attention, attention enough to object within the designated period required. I implore you to watch out for this and lodge a complaint or a submission if you, like me think this council should not be selling the Hilda M or any of our open space while so many of our suburbs are being in-filled with multi story developments and people who will need community centres and space. Most especially deplorable is that it is being done during the holiday period when papers are fewer and fewer people are paying close attention.
Another project that deserves your attention is the proposed changes to the CBD, Bigge park etc. Some of the proposed changes never made it to public exhibition and are quite a concern. One of note is the opening of Macquarie Street to traffic of an evening, changing the commemorative aspect (statue and plaque etc) of Light horse Park into playing fields to name just two. Log onto the Liverpool Listens website and have your say… look at the proposals and make comments, either in support or against them, this will be your only opportunity it seems.
14 different items were discussed and decided upon in confidence at the last council meeting. I found that particularly interesting, as at his first meeting as CEO, Mr Wolff explained he was not used to matters in confidence being part of a council agenda, seems he’s learned to manage well as I think 14 is a new record. I still believe when it is rates funding that is paying for the spending sprees, the community should be afforded the detail not just a summary at the end. I do of course reserve and preserve individuals privacy but corporations hiding behind sections 10/2 a,b,c etc of the act does not inspire confidence for me.
Lastly and most sincerely, if this coming Christmas/New Year period raises emotional, traumatic or struggling periods for you, please seek help, there are a number of credible and caring services in the community who can help you through the difficult times and you do not have to endure it alone. During the many years I owned LSO, I saw both the fun and friendly and the sad and destructive sides of these holidays and it is essential we keep an eye on each other, offer a listening ear or seek support.
Our community is a good one, sometimes a little self-focused or even thoughtless to the needs of others, sometimes over the top, but it is a good community and each and every one of you are an intricate and important part of what makes Liverpool great. Together we are simply the best and I’m enormously proud to call Liverpool home.
Thank you for your contribution to my year, thank you for the amazing conversations, the passion and the support. My hope is to return to more regular posts next year, especially in the lead up to the NSW state election. My career change this year has taken time away from my blog, but my passion for Livo remains unchanged and unchallenged. My attendance at forums/meetings etc has not been affected although my commenting on them has been lessened. (Did I hear some cheers along with some of those complaints at my tardiness LOL)
From My family to yours – Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, Happy New year to all and may 2015 bring you and your family much joy, good health, more security and a Greener state Govt.
Below the fabulous Community choir who entertained at the councils end of year bash…
As always if your view differs from mine, I’m more than happy to share it here, so please write back if you’d like to comment.