signe-westerberg-headshotsfav-78-of-102-2Well it’s early, I’ve been home from the council meeting for about 1 hr, we (the gallery) waited until the meeting was officially over so I’ve had a little while to mull over the appalling situation that we laughingly call a council meeting. Many of you may by now have seen the media, Channels 7 and 9 were in attendance and heaven knows who else and we’ve now been officially embarrassed again, this time by Liberal party in fighting, a #powermadmayor who still doesn’t know how to pick his fights and a councillor it now seems may be the unwitting or perhaps willingly manipulated by  others or perhaps is manipulating others, who knows? Conferences between the the mayor and his supporters, staff and advisors and the numerous conferences between opposing parties sees Liverpool again amidst scandal and nastiness.

I love seeing residents attend our council  meetings I’ve said so on numerous occasions, watching them engage in matters of import to our citizens is paramount for good open governance. Watching our residents divided however breaks my heart. We have so much to be proud of here in Liverpool and sadly the events of tonight aren’t amongst them. The #powermadmayor and Cllr Ristevski’s obsession took over the meeting tonight and to the detriment of our community… and as an aside I don’t think it’s done a whole lot of good for the local liberal party either. In the end the whole situation became untenable with Cllrs Waller, Stanley, Shelton, Mamone, Karnib and Harle following Cllr Ristevski as he was escorted from the meeting at the behest of the Mayor.  I do have to admit I felt particularly bad for our Security Guard whose job it was to escort Cllr Ristevski from the chambers, he works with and for all of us and I imagine felt a bit like the meat in the sandwich.

So what really happened… there were a number of speakers on the list tonight (not all got the opportunity to speak) the Mayor seemed to have enlisted a supporters team, one of whom took Cllr Ristevski to task for opposing the Mayor, in the name of Liverpool Ratepayers. As one of those ratepayers I don’t recall objecting to Cllr Ristevskis’ attempts to highlight some of the mismanagement of our city.Do I support everything he’s said, no, do I think he has the right to say them, yes. When Cllrs Mamone & Ristevski took exception to some of what the speaker was saying, things turned nasty. Tonight Cllr Ristevski seemed to have the support of the majority of councillors who attempted to call the meeting back in order and who eventually took it upon themselves to vacate the building on his ejection . He again raised the matter of  no confidence in the Mayor and the CEO. The Mayor called for an apology and when Cllr Ristevski requested that the Mayor apologise for calling him a liar at the previous meeting it became clear neither was going to back down. Many Council workers were also in attendance and with the nastiness of the past few months seemed ready to loudly support Cllr Ristevskis no confidence motion in the mayor and the CEO. The entire meeting was divided, it was loud ,at times very loud.  This is what happens when we have staff who feel threatened, this is what happens when misinformation is out in the community and this is what happens when things get out of hand and out of control. Alas however the Division of Local Govt is going to see the appalling manner in which a few of our councillors choose to represent us. Another meeting will be held in place of this farce of a meeting, I heard the mayor declared that Monday 14th March at 6pm, however if all we get is what we have I cannot see a better outcome.

So let’s sit back and see what we achieved as a city tonight… well we’re one step closer to administration, we managed to get press for all the wrong reasons, any possible chance of Councillors being able to forgive and forget is well and truly out the window, the CEO spent a good while looking at the ceiling, some managers were placed in untenable situations while others leave our employ amidst the nightmare that has become the norm in Liverpool. The business community of Liverpool didn’t get any outcomes from either their representations nor their matters as absolutely nothing (other than $5,000 donation to the Fiji hurricane victims via the red cross) was discussed as part of the agenda.

I know my dislike for our mayor is no secret, my lack of respect for several of his colleagues isn’t either, but this IS NOT  what I want for my city. I expect more and I know from conversations with some of our councillors so do they but this is the result of a particularly nasty and inappropriate manner in which the Liberal majority have conducted themselves in this and the previous term of council. Some might say the chickens have come home to roost and while doing so they have brought our entire city into disrepute and it annoys and angers me.

I used to say that if  ever elected Mayor I would begin the first meeting with a box in the middle of the room and ask each elected councillor to put within it their party affiliation so we could get on with the business of governing and growing our city together as a team. Whether or not I ever get the opportunity to do that, party affiliation is one thing and I’m not against it, what I am totally against is when it becomes more important than our residents and our city. I keep getting told our #powermadmayor is popular, it’s not what I hear on the streets but his media campaign has managed to convince him that he can do anything he wants…. clearly tonight proves he cannot.


Until this is resolved in some way or another, or we get to have a ‘do over’  a whole lotta nothing was achieved tonight. So thanks for nothing Councillors.


Sign off




As there were several hundred others in the gallery tonight, please don’t hesitate to let me know if you saw, heard or felt there was more of which I wasn’t aware…I’m more than happy to post your version of events here along with mine.


The ABC radio today is reporting that the debacle we called a meeting last night was over the Asbestos, and while that may have been to long term intention, the mess began when a resident started attacking  Cllr Ristevski in the 3rd person on matters relating to Porkgate… while that was not her only issue, this was one that started the whole point of order, no confidence etc.





  1. Anon says:

    Unfortunately the Union is out to get the CEO and has threatened to pull funding from the Labor Party for the upcoming Federal election (two Labor Councillors have publicly expressed that they will contest the seat being left vacant by Laurie Ferguson) unless they get rid of the CEO.

    I agree 100% with your sentiment Signe, it is unfortunate that a Liberal Party members desperate cry for power and over-blown ego, coupled with the political aspirations of the Labor Party has amounted to this.

    The inciting of hatred in the community and bringing religion into this is absolutely disgusting and something that the Labor Party, Liberals and Independants should be ashamed of.

    • Signe says:

      Thanks for your comment, the Union has been involved in staffing matters at Liverpool for some months now, in fairness their desire to have the CEO sacked is not new and IMO quite warranted. Our staff aren’t being treated fairly and again its my conversations with the staff themselves and the morale is so low, it takes me back to when these same councillors attacked our former GM to the point of him resigning. While there are a couple of new players in the pack, pack is a proper way of describing their approach. This time though I can’t see how what happened last night will help either Wendy or Anne. We wouldn’t allow this kind of bullying in any other enterprise, we have laws against it, but for some reason in Local council this is what they get away with. It is unfortunate that the resident who was making the accusations and who ultimately started last nights fiasco did resort to Religion and attack. Whether intentional or not her attack on Cllr Ristevski was the catalyst but by no means anything more than preemptive as this had already been touted as a meeting where flames would be thrown. This breaks my heart, I love my city and our residents and the liberal infighting over the past few months is an appalling and shameful representation of our city.

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