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


1.5.12 We are being played

May 1, 2012

Sometimes, like everyone, I feel greatly disheartened by our representatives in Council. Really, is this the level of contempt we can expect from here until the election?

Item one on last night’s agenda was a Notice of Motion from Councillor Anne Stanley, though it appeared to being ‘electioneering’. Very quickly it descended in to utter chaos. The first Notice of Motion from Councillor Stanley received no support outside Labor. This was described as an election stunt by other councillors. Councillor (correction) Hadid supported by Mannoun then put forward another motion to cancel the parking strategy all together.  In one fell swoop the councillors threw away $1.7million dollars in infrastructure and countless man hours and scrapped everything. The only three councillors against were the Liberal/Independent trinity of Lucas, Harle and Napolitano. A third option was put together which was a little bit of this and a little bit of that, as they argued and grandstanded.  Lucas, Harle and Napolitano immediately began calling other councillors all idiots and called for a rescission motion. The next hour was spent skimming over the rest of the agenda (appalling in so many ways as things were inadequately addressed) while (someone) found out if we could address the rescission motion at the same meeting. Chaos. During a break Councillors Stanley, Napolitano, Waller, and others rescued portions of the parking strategy with a new motion, agreed upon before coming back into session. A do over of sorts!

This is appalling. And the gallery last night was shocked, some livid, angry and outraged. It may not seem so in print as I describe it here, but the issues of the parking strategy have been in planning for a long time. They have been addressed by the CBD committee in consultation with community, large amounts of money have been spent to get this strategy off the ground. It had already been ratified and was being brought back to council for the election agenda of a councillor.

 Councillors (some) were present at the CDB committee when this was discussed. They continue to act in ridiculous ways in council meetings without any consideration for the work done in order to draft plans and strategies, with no consideration for those involved in these things. And they behave this way because they want to make a political point against the other side of the bi-partisan coin for the sake of it. There is nothing in the councillors’ behaviour last night that would lead me to assume they care a jolt about any of that. $1.7 million is the infrastructure cost so far of the parking strategy. For a moment, all I could do was thank god they didn’t have to deal with the federal budget.

 There is a complete lack of respect for the community and the staff and a display of blatant one-upmanship I’ve never seen from this appalling excuse for a council. The saviours in this instance are the Liberal/Independents who last night were lucid enough to prevent $1.7million dollars spent on a strategy blown on a whim. But let us not forget that it was their contribution that began the decent into chaos in the first place. So the initial sacrifice allowed them to come up trumps later. Nice. Especially for those invested watching from the gallery.

Michael Byrne took the opportunity in the speakers forum last night to announce his candidacy for Liverpool once again. I’m not surprised, he is sort of like a ghost that only haunts the place around election time, I can’t for the life of me recall having seen him since the last election! Thankfully, he speaks highly of himself as a local saviour so we can all be confident. (Removes tongue from cheek…)

After last night some council  staff are clearly gutted. The community who watched from the gallery  are in shock. People are scratching their heads wondering what else this moronic lot could possibly do given half a chance. Let’s not give them one. We deserve better representation than the debacle this council has been since they were first elected.

How lucky are we?

December 5, 2011

In this instance I’m saying the Greens members, yesterday I spent the day with approximately 100 like minded, caring and passionate individuals, who worked through numerous policy and party decisions… while debate can be at times full on it is always respectful, topics too varied to list but each with the passion I rarely see in other places. These are everyday people, teachers, lawyers, mums and dads, office workers, mayors, councillors, business owners even state members and federal senators… with one similarity, they all care deeply for the future of our cities, our state, our country and in fact our planet… what inspires me most, is at these gatherings, senators sit with their groups, MLCs alongside their local membership, there is no pretence, no air of superiority, just like minded people working together.

When I joined the Greens, I really had only hoped this kind of group existed, how delighted I am now to be part of this amazing process. To discuss our local issues over lunch with a senator, or get ideas from seasoned local councillors, to work through policy and create new…all because we together believe in what we are doing and doing it together seems the right thing to do.

At a time when forums are finished for the year and committee meetings are winding down I am blessed to be able to continue working with passionate and dedicated people not only locally (our FLG Meetings will continue throughout Dec/Jan) but from all across the state. Where the children are welcomed, in fact two of them yesterday were outstanding in their cheerful ability to help with microphones and make sure everyone was heard even making a game of it. Where knitting is the norm and computers ticking away are standard… ahhh if all in life was like this achieving great outcomes in a busy yet convivial environment… not bad for a political group you’d have to agree.

Finally not all is stopped for 2011, there are items available for comment on the council website, the intermodal public exhibition is still there for comment, the road widening on the M5 is approved and seems like there is no more discussion to be had, our friends at Hoxton Park have been ‘promised’ their long awaited sewerage commencing mid 2012, we don’t feel any closer to noise walls for our Casula residents although not giving up on this one either and will be interested to see if we can continue to lobby for noise walls on the bridge of the M5…and of course there is still one council meeting left for 2011… Monday the 19th at 7pm at the Greenway centre… all welcome.  And don’t forget to take a walk through the mall… our big Christmas tree is up and glistens in the dark of evening, although I don’t recall reading that it had ‘an official lighting’ this year, it will be nice to take the children along to see it and while there, lets count our blessings, each of us have some amongst the worries and concerns of everyday.. but count them we must for they make all the worries worthwhile.

Picnics, politics and passion

September 19, 2011

Funny how some things seem clearer and brighter after a good old chat. This weekend saw a small group of locals get together to discuss their dreams and aspirations for the coming 12 months and more. What am I referring to…? this weekend the local Fairfield Liverpool Greens group had a simple picnic in the park… (Note to self: some better organisation for next time) but one of the most inspiring things is when we get together the discussion is of positive things for the future of our two LGA’s. Our hopes for the future of our cities, the inevitable hope for Greens to be included in the mix and the methods we hope to employ to bring our councillors together in common (not so political) goals. I also had the pleasure of attending another group meeting where the discussion again with fellow Greens was how we can all work together when elected to councils. The one thing that inspires me is that the Greens don’t speak in terms of when we have the majority, or when we lead, the conversations almost exclusively talk about how to bring groups together, how all the different groups can be brought into the ‘tent’ to work as one for the good of the community. The sceptics will say it’s because we don’t have the option to think in overall terms, but the reality is there are already councils in NSW where Greens councillors are the majority, and it is in conversation with these people that I get the all encompassing feeling that a city moving forward is one where people work together.

The joy that any campaign run by us will be focussing on the community and the welfare of our residents, not on how to beat one group or another, which was the overwhelming focus of the last council election in 2008… our goal, our campaign is always going to be how best we can represent the entire community, even those who think we have two heads or that the sky is falling.

A little dose of inspiration sure brightens you up, with a big week ahead… Eastern Forum tomorrow night, our local Greens meeting on Wednesday, a wedding on Saturday and my daughter’s Birthday on Sunday, seems I will continue to be around positive happy people.

Don’t forget next week’s council meeting was moved to Wednesday the 28th and should prove an, as always, interesting event… the Central Forum is on the Tuesday 27th. Please note in your diary also the Carbon Tax debate on the 5th October… more details will follow however at this stage Senator Lee Rhiannon has confirmed attendance at 7pm at the Francis Greenway Centre Council Chambers in George St.

As always, watch this space, if I see, hear or read anything of interest to our community I will post it here… for the first time in a while I don’t have a submission due however the following link  has recently appeared of the council website, an alteration to the LLEP for Heathcote Road, have a read and comment  if you have something you’d like to contribute.


New day, New year…The countdown is on 358

September 15, 2011

I start off each new council year looking to be part of a positive and interesting year ahead; I watch closely at all the things happening and record them for all to see. So again I begin by looking for those positives. Yesterday the editor of the champion started with a story of all the good things happening in our fair city, however an actual read mentions the two purchases and the roads, rates and rubbish, with the exception of the purchases the rest would have happened with or without councillors… our Rubbish collection/recycling process is leaps and bounds ahead of many in NSW, a program instigated before councillors were even elected… as for roads, well there is always going to be road issues, and if you’ve banged loud enough into Cllr’s ears a couple of areas have received some well needed attention…but would these have happened anyway…probably ?

The squeaky wheel is getting the attention, but what of those issues not being hammered, what of the average Joe or Josephine sitting at home, not really understanding or knowing where to turn?

As for the purchases, a whole list of maybes could be employed and the need may never  have surfaced.

All that aside reading through the papers, listening to councillor Mannoun cry foul on the proposed meters for the CBD, if he had shown up at more of the CBD committee meetings when this was being discussed at length, looking for the best outcome for the entire community and encouraging more shoppers into the CBD he could have voiced his concerns, however he doesn’t show up and decides to make a opposing opinion in the press, opposing it seems to his party associate Cllr Hadid who last week spoke in favour of meters…mind you his last hoorah as spokesperson as it was made quite clear at a recent council meeting that Cllr Napolitano is to be the next deputy mayor therefore spokesperson, the role that arose after ‘sacking’ the popularly elected Mayor as spokesperson some months ago.

A constant light in the tunnel is the community forums, whilst they aren’t all wine and roses all the time, being amongst caring and passionate Liverpudlians is a pleasure I never get over. I enjoy the interactions with residents and the many staff members who come along and share information, discuss ideas and generally engage in our city, so please get involved in the forums.

There are many positives about our city, most especially our people, we come from all walks of life, from every corner of the world and we ‘work’, we are a community and we are something to be enormously proud of.