Good Bye 2016

December 31, 2016

Image0211Here we are at the end of what can only be described as a weird year. Too many of the people on our planet have taken a huge right turn and it’s not pretty. Greed has taken over and self serving politicians seem to dominate the landscape.

How is  this an unusual and weird year…? Let’s start with the Brits, they managed to completely confuse themselves by voting for an exit to the EU… waking up the next day like they had a hangover and wondered what happened. The US went nuts and voted for an egomaniac and we in Australia raised the profile of a bunch of hateful liars who are intent on spreading poor even incorrect information to scare the community into thinking everyone is out the to get them. I remember growing up in a somewhat different time, most of my recollections of the 60’s and 70’s are memories of everyone getting on with the day to day and if a neighbour needed some help they just did what they could. To pretend there weren’t racists about would be naive, however as a child of an immigrant and being reasonably aware of our difference I cannot say I ever felt fear for my safety or even that my neighbour hated me and my family… yet the politicians who peddle the hate and fear of today do exactly that. We are supposed to be a more informed and educated society but the reality is, waaaaaaaayyyyy to many people get their news from shock jocks or media with an agenda. Whether that is self serving or worse controlled by media giants who want more control and less fact reaching the community. It’s time we as a community stood up and said enough is enough. We have many issues affecting us locally that have been ‘sold’ to the community as beneficial but when push comes to shove no one can define the benefit or produce the information required to ensure we do get the purported benefits.  The Moorebank intermodal will not be good for Liverpool, yes it will bring a few jobs and a few companies who rely on freight but it will also drive away potential businesses as our roads will be in gridlock the majority of the time. That’s without touching the hefty impacts such a development will have on the residents of Liverpool and our surroundings, be it air pollution, damage to our precious waterways, even the liveability of our city. Our council has spent hundreds of thousands of our rates dollars to ensure the community is aware and I can pretty much guarantee that percentage wise a very low number of people truly understand the impacts or worse even know about them… some may be aware of the reported benefits, even though the supporting documents cannot prove any such benefit. Same goes for the Badgerys Creek airport. I cannot get past the fact that if the airport is bad for the residents of Mascot and surrounding suburbs how in the hell is it going to be good for the residents in one of NSW’s largest growth areas? Especially when we won’t even have a curfew or the same restrictions afforded Mascot and Sydney’s drinking water will be directly under the flight paths. This doesn’t even touch on things like the impacts of digging coal out of the ground around the state and the immediate damage being done to waterways and the local communities. We are being sold a pup and so few actually seem to care.  The climate is in a bad way and without dramatic changes right now it’s closing in on irreversible and we, all of us, need to step up….

On a personal level I have much to be thankful for this year, my family are pretty well and cared for and very loved. The people with whom I associate are informed and passionate about the communities in which we live and the planet as a whole. Most of all they care.

There are of course things all of us need to consider changing, adjusting or being more aware of and to me that is just normal…I am grateful for the many readers who have taken the time this year to read and respond, even those not wanting to have their information shared. I am grateful for the change in local councillors and that some of  the worst have not returned. I am hopeful for a more inclusive year where more people get involved in local issues.

We do however need to ensure we are better informed, I was surprised when discussing politics with someone yesterday the amazing lack of knowledge associated with politics in this country. The associate and her colleagues had no clue that the likes of Pauline Hanson, Leyonhjelm etc make very good money out of running for federal seats. Especially if they get their 4% and don’t actually win a seat  as they get to keep the money and not have to work for it. Don’t get me wrong every political party earns at a Federal election once they reach 4%, the bigger groups who actually get people elected use that to fund lots of things within their party. We Green’s operate a little differently in that in NSW the local groups manage the funds and they generally finance future elections and the running of the  group and local issues. This I understand is very different to that of even Greens in other states and it is exactly why we at FLG were able to donate a bit of money to ensure 30 local families weren’t hungry this Christmas. For NSW Greens groups the goal is to raise awareness around issues and policies that are of importance to our communities not necessarily ‘winning’ seats although that is indeed beneficial when it comes to actually ensuring change in how politics is done in this country. Our Greens politicians are all hard working and extremely dedicated, that makes me very proud when some things we do achieve benefit the whole community.  All our local group members here in Liverpool and Fairfield do what we do as volunteers and we don’t pay staff or excessive costs for campaign materials etc. We actually manage to run our elections very cheaply and work towards ensuring politics is full of people with a passion for change not a passion for a well paid job, which sadly appears to be the goal of many other individuals and parties and something I personally rally against. The idea of scoring a well paid job followed by a golden handshake in my opinion brings out the worst in people and we should be expecting better.

Thank you all for your contributions and  your patience with my less than regular posts this year, it has been a big year in that elections are time and energy expensive.

I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year.  2017 is shaping up to be a  big year, thankfully not an election one for us so we can focus on some of the local issues that are of most import to our local community.

Stay safe and I will see you in 2017.

 

Sign off


Last 2016 Council meeting and more

December 18, 2016

Christmas treeJust when you thought things were going to quieten down for the summer break I decided to read the minutes from last Wednesday’s council meeting. lol

9 Items were discussed in confidence, that is 9 this month 14 last month that council considers so secretive we need to be left out of any of their discussions or detail. While I accept there are things that need to be protected, like a residents name and  personal details etc, how many times can we be left in the dark and told its okay?

Mayor Waller however does plough through the agenda quickly and so far none of the meetings have ventured into the 11pm finish zone as they did in the past.

A couple of things that I paid particular attention to, of course one being the selection of the New CEO… we are yet to be told who will be managing our hefty business and all I can say is that while most of us were not privy to who were in the final three, it seemed very clear that some members of the LCIT political party were well aware. In fairness I had guessed that the present acting CEO was likely to be amongst them and her being called to speak was confirmation, however even the other candidates arrival was through a different set of doors to ensure we, the paying public, had no clue.  All I can say is appears that secrecy was not necessarily kept for all of us and when I dug a little deeper with the LCIT members they quickly realised I was perplexed that it appeared they had confidential information not available to the rest of the ratepayers.  They did say along with the ACEO, the former CEO of a named local council  and a woman were the other two… Until the formal announcement is made I guess we’re left wondering.  I do hope that if not successful the present A CEO remains in council, she is a valued member of staff from what I can see and appears to have a genuine community engagement focus, something I most certainly value as a resident. I am also very hopeful of a truly competent and capable addition to our staff.

The other thing that concerns me a little is that as your representative on the Environmental Advisory Committee a position I have proudly maintained for a number of years now, the committee is being amalgamated with the floodplain committee, something not all members necessarily favoured. That said we held our last meeting of the EAC last week and the chairperson, Cllr Harle declared he was a member of the Liverpool Action Group,  two other members  failed to declare their membership of the same group, no big deal I guess as the councillor has always been supportive of the environment,  however on reading the minutes of the last council meeting for 2016 it was announced that a former councillor  was now on the new floodplain committee, he too is a member of LAG and a long time vocal opponent of the EAC and the use of funds. For your information we  have been having a number of discussions regarding the use of the Levy. I believe as one of the longest standing members of the committee that the funds are ‘bound’ to be used specifically for environmental use, including the establishment of a community nursery and environmental centre, as you have heard me mention on numerous occasions. Our former CEO Mr Wulff appeared hell bent on absorbing those funds into a general revenue fund for use somewhere else in council, clearly stated during one council meeting. Getting the original business papers and original funding documents are proving quite a chore and have been on the request list for almost a year.I am sure there are good reasons, I’m just not sure what they are. I cannot tell you why there is so many delays however we would have had the nursery up and running a year or more ago if it had not been for the constant roadblocks put in front of the committee and now we see the former councillor may again be in a position to renew his efforts to stymie the entire environmental program if he so chose. (this is well documented here as I’ve written extensively on this before)  If, as is the norm, all members will have the ability to vote on issues before the committee LAG will now have 4 members who could potentially vote in a block and undermine the rest if the elected members. I would like to hope I am wrong however two of those members have already indicated they would like to see the funds used elsewhere rather than on the Enviro/Nursery. Just so you are aware, the nursery was to allow council to save money (our rates) by propagating and growing local species of plants and trees for use in the LGA rather than buying them commercially and the enviro centre was to be set up so members of the community could see/experience different types of home lighting, wall treatments, water saving devices etc etc  could work in their own homes with the added bonus of some of the rooms could be hired out by members of the community as a n offset for any costs. It’s disturbing to see the focus being redirected against such things, that could benefit the entire community. While I agree that one argument for more staff is valid, it is not impossible for that to be achieved as well as the Enviro/Nursery where the community could benefit from in situ examples that only a purpose built facility could provide. I have heard that a number of staff positions have lay empty for some time shows that either council is unwilling to fill them or worse no one wants to work in Liverpool.  Clearly I am not privy to the details however I would like to reassure you, as your representative I will fight for the levy money you pay goes exactly where you are paying for it to go, restoration and maintenance of the environment and to fulfil the established goals under which it was granted. No doubt if I have misunderstood the intent of some of the members or staff, they may certainly post their view here for all to see. For the record I have worked with some of these individuals  in the past and bear no malice towards any of them, I just don’t understand how one local group can potentially garner so much power in any one committee.

Council is a complex place, we have numerous matters on public exhibition presently or just closed, we need to ensure that the community is well represented and heard and I applaud the fact we can comment and am disappointed that so few actually do.

Another issue discussed was the repurchase of part of the former council chambers site. AKA No: 1 Hoxton Park Rd.   This was approved by councillors and would mean from what I could gather mean some of the staff may return to the old site if we can purchase it for the maximum cost of what we sold the entire block.

As I tweeted during the meeting council approved the renewal of the netball courts for the competitions they have secured for the coming two years. Questions were being asked as to why the courts were in such disrepair and to be frank there are a number of us who wouldn ‘t mind the answer to that question as well. All those supposed repairs done under the watch of the previous council I’m afraid, and hopefully not impinged on by the #formerpowermadmayors (I still love saying that)  stadium agenda. I guess we will never know but it is nice that the thousands of Liverpool women (mainly young women) netball players will participate in and attract a good number of visitors to our local businesses.

This is just the tip of the council minutes and I will leave it to you to have a closer look if you are interested.  http://liverpool.infocouncil.biz/Open/2016/12/CO_20161214_MIN_309.PDF

What I would like to do however is thank all our fabulous staff for their diligence and commitment throughout the year, thank them for their efforts and wish you and all of them a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year. A few have left over the year and a couple will not be returning next year, some for babies others for different reasons and I wish them well.

I may not  have written as often as I should this year, be it  busy with elections etc, or saddened we’ve lost friends and I have been a little remiss in recognising efforts and achievements however we have the most amazing city, the people are second to none and we live harmoniously in good cheer and respect. I look forward to spending time with you all in the New Year and wish you safe and happy holidays. (Reserving the right to pop back in if there is something I need to share, ie a submission due on the 21st)

As always these are my personal opinions, based only on what I’ve heard and seen myself, if you have a different perspective or view, please share it and I will post it here. The more people sharing information the better imo and I would be the first to post it here if more detailed or accurate information were made available.

Merry Christmas from all of mine to all of yours.

 

Sign off


Council meeting

November 24, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)Where to begin, First I guess is the behaviour of our councillors has improved markedly, seems removing the chief procrastinators worked. Thanks to those who didn’t endorse them I guess!
Councillor Balloot thankfully removed his ridiculous proposal to drug test all Liverpool Council staff and councillors. Some of the newer councillors will need to do some research when it comes to issues that are brought back for discussion, sadly none of the new members of council attended prior to their ascension into council and last night showed how out of touch some of them were in relation to issues that have been addressed on several occasions. This is not new of course, many of those seeking your votes never bother to actually attend council meetings prior to wanting to be councillors and the trend for them to forget council exists once they lose their seats is also the norm, Former Cllrs, Mannoun, Ristevski, Gillani, Napolitano, Lucas, etc etc no longer attend on a regular basis if at all. A couple have shown up once or twice, but the majority walk away like they never cared anyway.  In most cases this is actually good news in my opinion and clearly life does go on.

There was a couple of issues that are worthy of note: The passing of David Pack, a long time contributor to all things Liverpool, 14 –yep 14 matters of confidence. The voluntary Planning Approval allowing retrospective adjustment of DA’s by buying out council. A contribution of $230,000 from Lateral estate (Skyhaus) to go towards Collingwood House renovations.  While I am supportive of contributions to things of such import as Collingwood House, I am as I have mentioned numerous times not happy that for a few dollars changes can be made to a DA that significantly change to height/character/impact of a development after such changes have actually been made. This building was approved at 28 Stories, ridiculous as is, and basically for $230,000 they can add 23 more apartments and 3 more stories. Cheap if you consider 23 apartments at let’s guess $650,000 a piece… cheap cheap don’t’ you think? Please note I’m guessing the cost of the apartments, lets face it, the views would be something to pay for I can imagine and I could be well off the mark, but the point remains. Then to have Cllr Rhodes suggest we should use that lousy VPA to fix the issues the building itself creates is a stretch too far. Seriously, we should pay for their mistakes????? come on let’s get real and those impacts on surrounding homes, streets etc etc $230,000 is a drop in the bucket.  If we as a council have not considered all those issues in the planning stages we have some serious issues on council imo and I’ll be damned if I think we residents through any contribution should be left to pick up the tab.

Mayor Waller went to considerable length to advise why she feels it inappropriate for the chair to comment on issues before council, while I think the formerpowermadmayor had waaay to much to say, she got elected as a representative of the people and the occasional comment when warranted is in my view appropriate. That said Wendy did only stand for the chair position so perhaps she didn’t want to be in a position to comment… either way she does zoom through the agenda, sometimes a bit too fast. Many in the gallery struggle to keep up and worse some of the councillors do to. It would be nice if she slowed down the actual yays/no’s a little so the gallery could see who actually voted which way before on to a new topic.

The link to the business papers is below, a couple of things that are really important I’d like to highlight. There are three major planning proposals/master plans on exhibition at the moment, two about the River developments and the other the CBD. As it is your rates that will eventually be used to support/maintain/fix issues relating to these major projects I can only stress the importance of your comments and submissions. I will be working on my submissions in the coming week or so and will post them here. Please consider having a close look at what is on exhibition at the moment and make comment. You can do this simply by emailing your views, doing the surveys’ through Liverpool Listens or write your views and post them to council. This doesn’t have to be a huge or lengthy detailed submission, dot points will do, just have your views heard. Keep in mind the proposal to have 40 story buildings on the old Cablemakers site is just one to consider and there are so many more, please take the time to have a look, comment and be heard.

 

Minutes of last nights meeting should be online sometime tomorrow…

As always if your views differ I’m happy to put them up here for all to see.  Your opinions are as valid as mine so I encourage you to use this opportunity to get yours across.

 

til next time

 

Sign off

 

http://liverpool.infocouncil.biz/Open/2016/11/CO_20161123_AGN_308_AT.PDF


Well that was an event

October 14, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots (38 of 102)Wednesday  was the first council meeting of a new 4 year term of council. At least from the get go things looked like they were  going to be  interesting. There may be some new faces and some new ideas however some of the old bad habits persisted

From what would or could have been a fairly innocuous/standard meeting for the most part it began with a little left over poor behaviour from Cllr Hadchiti a bit of one upmanship one might say. The ever zealousness of the newbies and the stubborn left overs from the previous past were on show from the beginning, right up to the calling for division.

It will take a while as new councillors learn the tricks and tips for stealing proposals, the few liberal leftovers became masters at this in the previous term even though they don’t like it now it’s being done to them.

I tweeted throughout the meeting and managed to stir the eyre of one of the new councillors who didn’t like the hashtag she’d been assigned. While I’d like to take all the credit, even when waiting outside while the confidence motions were in play, I was being asked about her aggressive confrontation by other members of the gallery her saw her pointing her phone at me, the same term was used over and over.  Clearly as time goes by another perhaps even more appropriate tag will become evident  but in a gesture of goodwill I advised her that I would retire it so as not to offend. That said, my quote that the previous Mayor had stepped down in order to spend more time with his family, was not something I made up, it was in the press, he announced it in council so the while the hashtags may still be up for debate, his planning to spend more time with his family was more than accurate.

Anyway, there is more to council than a councillor spending her time reading my tweets while supposedly acting as a councillor defending the rights, needs and passions of the community. Mayor Waller resumed the role easily and as in the past fairly from what I could tell. For council to work effectively the councillors need to focus on what is in the communities best interests and not their own and only time will tell if this is how it pans out.

There were as always a number of items covered under confidentiality and unfortunately when we were called back in a number of the issues were already plowed through and we weren’t about to hear the results. It is well clear that I don’t like issues removed from the public glaze however I am of the belief that with a little diligence, care and respect the community can be included on important issues such as sourcing of services. All should be available today when the transcript is made public on the council website.

Listening as one new Councillor undertook the reassignment of committees, I christened it the “Balloot” as this is exactly what he did over the past couple of years and a way to completely dominate the councilors attendance on committees, only this time leaving the Liberal Councillors out of much as opposed to the past where the Labor Councillors were left out. In fairness in this instance there wasn’t a complete exclusion as in the past and if everyone actually shows up we may see a reasonable balance in attendance. The amendment that all councillors could attend and have voting privileges is and should always have been the case and is appropriate.

It was nice to catch up with a number of members of the community and a big thanks to Paul for bringing back some of my corflutes from the election.  As the numbers stand now there will or could be a clear majority on many issues, however we’ve seen those alliances move in the past and only time will tell. Congrats to Ali Karnib who finally, after many many attempts was declared the Deputy Mayor, it will be interesting if and when he is called upon to chair the meeting as he is very well known for his lack of conversation and discussion throughout the past 8 years, so much so at the last of the previous council meetings Cllr Hadchiti voiced his desire  to support whatever it was Ali was talking about simply because he’d finally spoken out on something LOL.

We have a  long way to go, we will have to watch closely as the councillors settle into their new roles, the balance of some younger voices could be a good thing, especially if they temper their passion with a good ability to learn from those who went before them, especially as none of them had been regular attendees in the past. Now the big task of recruiting a new CEO or confirming this acting one if he applies. Michael has been a fair and even handed acting CEO from what I have seen and I wish him well in whatever he chooses to do, be that step back into his previous role, move on or even apply.  I had heard that Propel had been on the confidential part of the proceedings however for now I am not privy to the outcome, when and if I hear more I will most certainly share.

Onward and upward, 4 years goes pretty fast and a lot can be achieved or messed up so keep watching this space, I will be back in the rhythm of writing more regularly fairly quickly, however it has been nice to have a bit of a break. As always these are my opinions and views, if yours differs don’t hesitate to let me know and I will share them here for one and all to see.

 

Till next time…

 

Sign off


8 more sleeps

September 2, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)WOW…the time is going so fast. Only a little over a week to go in this election campaign and I cannot tell you how delighted I am to be in such a  privileged position as to be able to speak with residents each and every day. I can tell you how proud I am of the amazing team we are putting forward in this election. Each and every one of them would be a wonderful addition to Liverpool Council and its a priviledge to work alongside them.

Wednesday night was the final council meeting for this term, a good deal of time was spent electioneering for the 7 councillors who are seeking your vote again, a few good byes and a whole lot of ….leave it to the next lot. So it’s official, not only have they left the next term of councillors a pretty crap budget, undetermined asbestos problems, staff morale at an all time low  but this week they decided to leave a number of items  to the next group. Seriously while I am always the first and often the only voice calling for due diligence, holy crap a donation to Macedonia and Italy in their time of need was not that big a call. Over the past 8 years some councillors shuffled enormous amounts of money for all and sundry and not all as deserving.

The big winner of the night was when in the departing Mayor admitted he’d not been able to work with everyone. Well that was an understatement but at least an acknowledgement I guess. Cllr Ristevski  didn’t waste an opportunity to put in a final dagger or two before he was  missed off the ‘I’ve enjoyed working with you’ list of the Mayor. The whole Propel issues lives on, with the independent report being handed on to ICAC, another of the deferred decisions for the next council. Importantly most of the candidates seeking your vote will have no clue about the issues that have been on and off the agenda for so long other than what they’ve heard in the press. Today we’ve made the news yet again and the comparison between this disaster of a council and the one who had us put into administration had best not be the comparison used in the future because some of us actually know and have seen the happenings of this bunch.

Alas those seeking your vote who have been on council should be scrutinised quite aggressively, what have they actually contributed to the council over their tenure as councillors. If elected to council I will work to ensure that all voting information will be made publically available. Calling oneself independent doesn’t  necessarily mean candidates aren’t aligned. While Greens are sometimes seen in agreement of ALP policy we are not bound in any way to following blindly, our whole remit is to assess each piece of information on its own merit, we vote according to what is in the best interests of the whole community and stand proudly by our reputation to do exactly that when a matter is not in the line with our core beliefs.  (I will print them below so you can see the tenets by which our decisions are made) Council should be about caring for the community, creating services to fill the needs of that community and reduce costs wherever possible.  During the meeting our #powermadmayor (for not long now)  took to highlighting some of the issues in the budget, minus a detail or two  and taking credit for changes that he and his cohorts actually  obstructed which meant many of those projects were actually delayed in the first term.

There will be issues that need to be addressed by the new council, firstly there will have to be very close scrutiny of some of the budget decisions, a very, very close look at the Propel agreement and investigation into same and a serious discussion about the number of jobs that have been outsourced to consultants. Planning issues are a big part of any council and we will need to see what can be done to ensure social and affordable housing options can be set up to ensure our city’s homeless numbers reduce,not grow. Especially important will be to ensure that the community is privy to the actions and decisions of council. Transparency has not been the strong suit of this particular term. Council can and should be the first point of call for citizens needing advice about planning, the go to place for questions and a source of information in relation to many social issues, even those they cannot be directly responsible for, many don’t realise the lobbying ability of council and this needs to be explored. The days need to come to an end where the local member is only heard from in parliament when he/she can bash the council for poor decisions. More soon….

Sign off

 

 

 

 

Ecological sustainability | Social equality and economic justice

| Grassroots democracy | Peace, nonviolence and disarmament

LASTLY. If you have some spare time anytime next week or on Saturday the 10th we are still looking for people to help us hand out at Pre-Poll and on Election day. We will provide a light lunch and a T-shirt just give me a call or email me at swesterberg@iinet.net.au.

Liverpool HTV 2016


Where there is smoke, is there fire?

July 31, 2016

Signe 2016 outdoorsI started this blog about a week ago, clearly with upcoming elections for council I and my colleagues have been focusing on bringing you the Liverpool community the best possible team for September 10th.

The following two paragraphs are what I wrote back then, they are still relevant so I will leave them for your informaton

Many will be aware that recently Liverpool has found its way back into the press. Regrettably it’s not for the good reasons AGAIN. Our #powermadmayor seems to have invited ICAC in… I’ve asked around and from what I can understand that’s not quite how that works. Over the last 4 years numerous letters have been sent to ICAC I’ve even made reports myself based on what I’ve seen and I’ve had back a response and that in no way indicated they were waiting on an invitation from the Mayor. Plus according to the news reports I’ve read, if you were invited in, why did they raid the office, force entry etc.?

While I am not privy to the workings or goings on of the #powermadmayor and his cohorts it’s not brain surgery to note that at some point throughout his entire term as Mayor he has at one time or another been at odds with his own Liberal party members, with the possible exception of Mr Balloot, I actually don’t recall a time when he wasn’t singing the praise of the #powermadmayor but as a non resident imo  I think his tenure is too shaky to create too many waves. That cannot be said of Councillor Ristevski, seems he likes the waves and is determined to highlight what I can only assume is more detailed information than those of us in the gallery are privy to. I do hope it is a genuine need to highlight misdeeds or inaccuracies not just self promotion in the lead up to the council elections.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/knives-out-for-mayors-as-preselection-battles-heat-up-20160722-gqbxaq.html

 

As  I said above this is just as relevant today, however in the meantime we have had a council meeting and a grand opening. The council meeting had a fair bit of grandstanding by Cllr Hadid, he on a number of occasions waved around a piece of paper calling for the figures paid out to two sacked/dismissed/left CEO’s. The irony for me was that he was calling for THEIR decisions to be made public, inferring he was not party to those same decisions. Alas, that is not true the Liberal majority of which he is a key player signed off on both terminations and I can only assume that of the latest executive position where I understand the payout was in the vicinity of $175K. In that case the position being ‘made up’ in the first place sure got a nice pay off according to some staff members who are livid and who also saw the same executive member handing out for the Liberal party at the recent Federal election. I am not suggesting any wrong doing, what staff do in their own time is entirely their prerogative I support that 100% however the question asked of me why was this person’s job created in the first place and if so why such a hefty payout if it was no longer required? I don’t have answers i’m afraid if I do I will share.

There was an attempt to overturn some of the decisions made at the previous council meeting in relation to the budget. I have to say in my view the whole representation of this budget has been nightmarish and if we had better transparency in Liverpool especially in line with what happens with our rates dollars many of us would feel much more confident. I do think the next  bunch of councillors will be faced with a whole bunch of financial issues they are not expecting, however if they aren’t involved now and aren’t seeing what is happening I guess that’s just bad luck. This of course goes back to my oft touted line of careful who you vote for, especially if they only raise their heads at election time. I would like to see so much more clarity on decisions being made with our rates money. I was not (I either missed it or it was discussed in confidence) aware that council had sold the site presently being used by the Men’s Shed, after so much work and money had been put into setting it up, I would have spoken against it or ensured the funding was organised to accommodate a move. Better still I wouldn’t have approved that site in the first place and found the Mens shed a permanent location from the get go.

It is election time, much is going to be bandied about regarding this election, the one thing  I want from our next set of councillors is to have more information made public. Hiding behind in confidence matters in Liverpool has gotten out of  control in my view. If a company is in dealings with our rates money and the same company has to declare the dealings with their shareholders, WHY ARE WE NOT BEING ABLE TO SEE WHAT IS GOING ON?

Yesterday I attended the opening of the Carnes Hill recreational/Library facility. I would like to say a big thank you to the many many staff who over many many years have worked on this venue. While the present Liberal councillors will gladly accept the accolades it was in fact on the drawing board for many years, $40M worth of investment doesn’t happen overnight and people like Paul Scully, Albert Galletta and the 100s of staff who have worked on this facility over such a long time deserve congratulations. It was interesting that the police were required to handle the pedestrian traffic yesterday, the irony there was they actually wrote a submission against the location for the exact same reasons they were working for hours yesterday managing foot traffic on what  is now a major road extension.  I was also aghast to hear the #powermadmayor made promises yesterday that he would ensure a pool was added to the rec centre if he is re-elected… where is all this money coming from, we have debt in the vicinity of $40M we have an unknown debt for the removal remediation of asbestos that could reach $20M and our rates are already rising. Then of course there is the proposed new civic centre costs, the Bigge park plans and so much more. Did it rain money recently and I had my umbrella up the wrong way???? More on this when I hear more.

It was lovely to see some of our previous staff in attendance to check out the finished project. It would also be remiss of me not to mention the many staff who were in attendance yesterday. For the record, my grandson gives the new skate park a BIG thumbs up. It was lovely to see so many people checking out the new facility and I’ve taken a bunch of pictures I’ll share with you below.  The skate park does feature but I am a Grandmother and one of the scooterers is a special favourite of mine.

Happy snaps from the Carnes Hill Rec Centre/Library opening

Happy snaps from the Carnes Hill Rec Centre/Library opening

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I need to go and get ready for National Tree day, I hope I get to see your there. Of course there was more to the council meeting and when I get an opportunity I will share with you, if you are interested the actual meeting notes will be available on the council website. You won’t get the joy of detail concerning Cllr Hadids outbursts, or the wrangling and to and fro of Cllr Ristevski’s interactions with the #powermadmayor or the CFO. You won’t see the one time I actually agreed with Cllr Hadchiti, ftr I am against this whole new trend of all Cllrs having to pay for their travel/attendance at functions directly related to their job as councillors, this will greatly affect anyone who puts their hand up in the community to represent the ratepayers who is not independently financial enough to pay airfares etc. This imo will mean only the wealthy will be able to represent Liverpool and the around $23,000 they receive for being councillors is not why one puts their hand up in the first place. I will cover this more at a later time.

 

Looks like I’ll be running late for National Tree day so I’ll sign off for now. See you there 🙂

 

Sign off

These views are my own based on what I’ve seen and heard, if you see things differently please share, the more the merrier I say.


Signe’s Election up date

June 22, 2016

Signe Westerberg HeadshotsFAV  (78 of 102)I would like to take a minute to thank the lovely people I’ve been meeting at Pre Poll and at Rail stations and the LMRC meet the candidates. Of all the interactions I’ve had over the last few weeks I have only had one negative, a fellow blaming the Greens for being lousy in Government.  As you can imagine it didn’t cut too deep as the reality that the Greens have never been in government removed the sting.

While it is clear some people are still being convinced there are only two choices, many more than in the past are waking to the fact that their vote is really important and if enough people vote Greens 1 the duopoly would end. Change of such magnitude won’t come fast, but it will come and to those who are looking for a clear path to a better future the Greens are a real alternative, in both the Senate and the house of Representatives.

This election the Fowler and Werriwa voters are being provided with an alternative to the immense paper waste that elections bring. Our small group is responsible for the campaigns run in Fowler and Werriwa and we’ve made some very clear choices this election, 1) we will not be blanketing the community with flyers or plastic corflutes, 2) we will where possible provide a small number of the print version of our HTV’s however we really want the community to know THERE ARE PAPERLESS ALTERNATIVES… to this end we’ve enlisted the quirky little QR (quick response) box on a number of our Corflute signs….

They’re about 5cm square and can be accessed by your smart phone…WerriwaQR (002)

For those who have a smart phone and don’t already have a QR reader, simply go to your in phone app store, regardless of whether Iphone or Android there will be options, type in QR reader and you’ll be shown a whole bunch of QR Readers… I downloaded a free version myself and it was easy, quick and noninvasive (some apps can be a bit overpowering and needy). When you’ve downloaded your preferred version, (there are plenty to choose from) simply click on the app to open it and point it at the little box above and you will be taken immediately to the How To Vote suggestions for Werriwa. It really is that simple. We will ensure there will be codes on as many Polling places as possible, especially important as we will not have sufficient volunteers to be on the over 40 schools and polling places. The most fabulous thing is we also won’t be printing trees and trees full of paper that will go into recycling throughout and after the election. I am also happy to email you my candidate info flyer, just email me at werriwa@nsw.greens.org.au and I’ll send one in an email.

If you’re a little unsure, there are other options as well… still through your phone browser, simply go to
https://greens.org.au/htv (or click here)

If you are travelling and can’t see your local there is this statewide option.

http://greens.org.au/sites/greens.org.au/files/2014_HTVC_State-wide.pdf

For those who like a paper version to take with you, you can always print off a version and take it with you

HTV_NSW_Werriwa_ 2016 A4 simply print it out and take it with you.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: ON THE SENATE PAPER  – the really big white one: Our How to vote examples are based on our research of the policies of that party, indicating those parties suggested for your 2,3,4,5,6, are closest to our principles and policy. After  you’ve voted your Greens 1 how you select the next 5 is entirely up to you, MOST IMPORTANTLY  YOU NEED TO CHOOSE 6 above the line on the senate paper or 12 below the line.

On the small Green ballot paper, there are only 4 to choose from in Werriwa: If you value accessible free education, medical that includes dental, decency for those in need and dignity for the unemployed there is only one choice: Vote 1 Signe Westerberg Greens

  • there are 4 candidates, our local group has allocated our second spot to the local labor candidate as on some issues Labor  have a similar point of view, 3 or 4th go to the ultra conservative CDP and Liberal candidates. With these last two you risk changes to medicare, increases in cost of pap tests and medical support, debt for decades for education, big business continuing to get the lion’s share of the savings and rebates, inequality in how the LGBTI community are treated, inhumane treatment of people seeking asylum that costs millions more than providing processing at source (in the country of origin – simply where they first reach e.g Indonesia) by properly funding the UNHCR and many many more serious issues.

I don’t always go into so much detail, however in this election there is  too great a risk that without the correct information, voters will resort to putting the Liberals back in government and the CDP helping them achieve their  goals.

Of course the choice is always and should be yours and if voting for one of the old parties is a family tradition, consider this: tradition is looking backwards not forward, tradition will not provide jobs for the future, tradition will not provide security, a fair economy or good health outcomes.

While some traditions are nice for keeping memories alive, like a dad having the first dance with his daughter at her wedding, traditions that will severely impact the growth of our nation, damage our precious planet, put more people into harm’s way, leave more and more Australians unable to provide a roof over their head, or a meal, or medicine, that allows big business  to be the recipients of more tax cuts and subsidies while small business owners get little to no support… put them in your number 2 spot, that way they will get a strong message that you want to register a real complaint about the direction they’re heading.

The other scary thing for me is with the two old parties, even what they don’t’ tell you before the election could be included after the election as a  “mandate for change”… in other words we didn’t mention it before but we’re gonna sneak in some changes you would have definitely voted no to before the election.

This is a really important election, while we might not like everything about one party or another, the Greens have always stuck by their commitments, and our policy is created by your neighbours, the local groups, so by people like you who care about the future, not entrenched MP’s who’ve lost touch with the community because they’ve been in government too long and value to financial reward

Of course  as always these are my personal opinions based on what I’ve seen and read. Your  opinions may differ and if you think it important to put your ideas forward I am happy to add them here… simply send in a comment and it will be included in the comments section of this post, unedited as always.

 

Sign off

 

 

 

for my friends in Fowler… here’s your QR code.

fowlerQR (002)