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

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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


Two hours we will never get back

March 31, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots (38 of 102)Last nights meeting was, let’s say, annoying. The first 2 hours were almost completely a waste of the communities time. Almost in that there was a couple of wins for the community. You won’t be seeing the #powermadmayors picture on everything anymore and he will have to get approval from the councillors when he wants to throw statements to the wind that will cost us money. The two items that took up those two hours were as I mentioned in my previous post. After spending 3 years supporting everything the Liberal councillors had on their agenda, Cllr Mamone has found her inner feminist, after blindly following and supporting every inane committee choice made by her colleagues, she’s  appears to have concluded that without the backing of the Lib  boys club she must now change tact and  appeal to women. Good on her I say, except I have to ask myself would she have found her inner feminist if she wasn’t on the outter with the Liberal boys club? I guess we will never really know. Its good news now that she’s realised that women are the way of the future in politics imo. The plus on council is she is now supporting her fellow female councillors not working against them. As Cllr Mamone advised she does read this blog, I’m sure if I’ve read this wrong she will email her version for inclusion. I am all for forwarding the role of women in politics, just a little sceptical when it takes so long or appears as an afterthought. That’s my two cents worth, others may see it a little differently and i invite them to comment also.

Cllr Ristevski continued his tirade against the #powermadmayor, here is another instance where unconditional support over a prolonged period comes to an ugly end. Not unjustly imo however my inner sceptic runs with the why was it all ok before and now not so. No Lib Love in Livo was a title of something I wrote some months ago, around that time I read that Cllr Ristevski’s tenure as a member of the Liberal party was at risk, now one has to wonder is all ok in the Land of state Lib Love and which of the two is on the outer. Thankfully I am not a member so the finite detail is not available to me, the fact remains that the majority party on our council can’t play nice in the playpen and it’s our community who is being dragged through the muck and mire while they spend time seeing who ‘s  ego is bigger.

Residents who had never attended a council meeting came out last night in the Rural area to see for themselves the working of their council… what a shock that was for some of them. After listening to the Liberal hatefest one family announced to me that they actually had work in the morning and couldn’t sit through anymore of this nonsense.

Cllr Hadchiti’s well planned list of achievements in WESROC was entertaining, he clearly felt under threat when his position on WESROC was being questioned and was intent on ensuring his list of achievements was well advertised. I’m sure those other committee members on WESROC would consider they played some part in those achievements but hey, if it makes him feel better to take all the glory who are we to argue. However his use of numbers was interesting and questioned, to establish his creds he counted the number of times Liverpool featured in a newspaper article, then multiplied that  by the readership of said newspaper and multiplied that again  by the number of articles. All I know is that 54M readers is pretty impressive for a nation of 24M. Some mockery was in order however he was not going to be moved and why not, that’s the benefit of statistics, they’re pliable.

After the two hour Lib vs Lib event and a very long 10 minute break ( closer to 25 but who’s counting) to no doubt  converse with the ABC journo,  things got underway and the councillors started working through the agenda. Of course by this time many of the community had given up and gone home.

Kudos of course to the amazing staff who managed to create a terrific feux council chambers, so much so some of the assets could be well used in the real council chambers, namely the large screen so the gallery could actually see what was being discussed and written.

A bit of a shock was the arrival of the newly dismissed (I mean left) CEO, I have to say I’ve never seen this happen before and let’s face it with this present Liberal majority we’ve seen a number of CEO’s given their marching orders.

12 items of confidence later and the agenda all but done (except for the Access Committee membership that had been moved into closed session)  and just on 11pm I left,  I’ve since found out that matter has been moved to the next council meeting. With all the yawning going on one would suggest that not only had they exceeded the reasonable time frame but some of the councillors were up past their bedtime. As always there were a few who stayed the long game, if you saw things differently or would like to comment please consider adding your opinion to mine.

Save our HUB membersToday I did however attend a briefing in relation to the Miller HUB, I had been invited along as the HUB at Miller as is about to be outsourced to an NGO. Interestingly that is not because there is an issue with how the service is being run, it is not because it costs too much but it has been so successful it is time for it to progress to the new step in its evolution into a self sustaining service. (short term for no longer free to access to a cost for service model imo)  The Miller HUB is a stand alone arm of the NSW health department, it provides the community with access to all manner of services and support. I get a bit (ok a lot) frustrated when organisations tick off boxes by calling it community engagement. The gentleman concerned was of course just doing his job, but there was little to be gained, it seems the decision has been made and your tax dollars instead of going directly to the community through the hub, will go via a for profit organisation. It was a real pleasure to contribute in some small way to support the HUB. Below is a letter being sent to the minister and I ask you to take a moment and add your signature, drop it off at the HUB in Shropshire St Miller or  post it directly to Jillian Skinner MP.  I will add more information as it comes to hand however your help in saving this service in our community would be appreciated. Especially as it is a viable working service that directly supports our community.

Miller Hub Letter

Miller Hub Letter

 

The minutes of last nights meeting will be up in a day or so, however here is the link to the ABC item  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-31/liverpool-council-passes-notion-to-remove-mayor-as-spokesperson/7286714

It would be nice to see our council gaining publicity for achievement not as it has recently for its disharmony.

Sign offtil next time


COUNCIL IS CALLING FOR YOUR OPINION

May 26, 2015

Image0118Hi all, Presently council has on exhibition a list (extensive list) of parks and Green space it would like to reclassify as operations (ie saleable) Please take a few minutes to either  log onto the Liverpool Listens website and comment or write to council.

 

As I have on many occasions I oppose  any proposals to sell Greenspace in Liverpool. Not because I am unrealistic in that I know they cost money to maintain, but in the fact that once they are sold they are gone forever.

My response is :

“With the rapidly growing high rise buildings in Liverpool I am completely opposed to the sale of public parks or green space. While I acknowledge in some cases the upkeep cost seems high once the land is sold it is gone forever and with increasing air pollution from increased vehicle movements, smaller land sizes, greater populations on single sites it is essential that there is room for both fresh air and play. Lobbyists from businesses seeking larger parking spaces is insufficient reason to sell access ways as in the case of Regan park especially at the cost of considerable disadvantage to those who use that park as an access to the main road and public transport.
With increased population comes increased rates I am sure the council will be able to source necessary funds to maintain these green spaces into the future.

Regards,

Signe Westerberg – Resident”

http://listens.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/amendment-38-proposed-reclassification-and-or-rezoning

If you feel similarly please let the council know. I actually ticked all the boxes but if you’d like to focus on one or two parks alone, thats fine too. I happen to know all the parks listed and feel keeping them as lungs for our city a priority.

 

Please let me know if you would like assistance or even more info on writing a submission. I have used the website this time and may still write a formal submission opposing any sale.

 

Reminder also: Council meeting is tonight… 6pm. See you there.


New rates and no bus stops.

February 4, 2014

Signe Westerberg Headshots (96 of 102)I had the pleasure of attending the Liverpool Transport Task force meeting yesterday, they meet every month to discuss all manner of issues facing Liverpool commuters and yesterday the room (albeit very small) was packed to overflowing with members and a vast array of bus company owners, NSW transport types (RMS) and some council staff to discuss the continued concerns regarding Bus pickup and drop offs in Moore Street. The Members of the group produced an informative video showing some of the major concerns allowing the bus companies, RMS and council staff to see what is and why their concerns are so very much in need of attention. One throw away line from an RMS exec was that council had not added one additional bus stop in the last 4 years, (Council pays for bus stops) while quickly acknowledged  by the council staff it wasn’t disputed. Now considering we are about to be hit with (depending on how you respond to the survey,  a 14% rate increase this year and a 16.5% the following and in the last 5 years have paid an extra $30+m odd in additional rates, what has that money been used for?  The positive out of the meeting was that the membership now understood better how things are funded, what council pays, what the bus companies are responsible for and what RMS can and cannot do to improve the situation.  At the end of the meeting I was delighted to hear those present official types  decide to venture to the Moore street  to see for themselves what, if anything could be done, quickly, efficiently and NOW. As the major exit point for the CBD shoppers the Moore Street bus pick up area leaves A LOT  to be desired but this diligent, hard working local group not only put forward complaints and concerns but real and viable actions that could achieve a better out come for our city. You may have seen some of their articles in the paper over the years however this relatively small group has achieved some really good outcomes and I applaud their efforts..and look forward to continuing my involvement with them, while I have been a member for some years now, I do have more time nowadays. Not being encumbered I can now look more closely at the things council is and IS NOT doing and will continue to voice my praise or concerns here.

Council meets tomorrow night for the first meeting of 2014. I have been reading the business papers and as I mentioned we seem pretty certain  of being lumbered with another rate increase, well at least this stage an application for one. If you feel what is happening in Liverpool is against what you consider fair, you could still write to IPART and lodge your concerns before they consider the application from council. If you are interested contact me and I’ll give you the address. While in a perfect world we wouldn’t have to question the actions of our council I do believe a number of submissions have been made to the DLG highlighting some issues the community feels are not being covered as they should and others that get more ‘attention’ than entitled. Also I believe the issue of the GM is to be raised again, having read the entire document and knowing the unlikely inclusion it is one to watch out for as a Mayoral Minute.  One nonsense piece I noticed was that the Deputy Mayor position is to be considered as a 6mth appointment, seems to me either someone isn’t playing nice in the playground  and not doing what the #powermadmayor wants or someone else wants a crack at the Deputy Job.  Good grief what a load, the deputy (in the past) has worked quite hard and not been compensated at all so what is happening with this lot that 6months is a sufficient term, and while I really don’t care to much as to the duration of the role, there will be significant costs associated with such a change and one needs to ask  DO WE REALLY HAVE TO WASTE EVEN MORE MONEY ON THIS FOLLY? Keep  in mind the present deputy was only re-elected in September. What can I say, clearly we have money to burn, $300,000 plus on two events, a mayoral credit card, paid political advisers, and not one bus stop in 4yrs…. oh and let’s not forget another( proposed) rate increase grrrrrrr.

Additionally $760,000 is being allocated for:

Review of all Workforce Management operating procedures and systems
Corporate Systems Audit
Performance Management System
Procurement Reforms
Review of Child Care Services
Customer Service Training
Service Level Agreements
Strategic Property Development Team (temporary project appointment)

Why hasn’t this been allocated as normal business expenditure in the budget, why are we not seeing this budgetary impost properly planned and instigated over forward budgeting.? While all these services quite likely are required, why have we now got to seek additional funding to ensure the delivery?

Good to see a facility has been found for the Men’s Shed enterprise and I am also delighted to see the staff put forward a return to better practice with regards to the code of meeting practice and trust that clearer heads prevail this time round, especially with that advice from the Division of Local Govt (DLG).

Some of you may recall a previous article I wrote in relation to retrospective DA approvals….well this (below) is an online only article regarding such approvals. It should be noted that I have been told the Liberal party Liverpool  were in receipt of hefty donations from this organisation. The Liberal Councillors all declared a NON Pecuniary interest….Hmmmm?

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/public-outrage-over-al-amanah-college-islamic-school-expansion-at-liverpool/story-fni0cx4q-1226814984619#social-comments

Then consider the following information as recorded in the minutes of the Council meeting for the 18th December link here: http://www.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/council/council-meetings

All Six Liberal Councillors voted for and supported the approvals and proceeded after the meeting vote to engage with the applicants and appeared to ascertain whether they  were satisfied with the outcome. I was particularly interested when one of the waiting members of the School group began to ‘whoop whoop’ and make comment  loudly while the decision was being debated and the manner in which this fellow was silenced at the time got my attention, I couldn’t hear the actual comments but the subduing of his comments most certainly got my attention. While this is only one instance there could and likely are others where the Liberal party received donations and yet declared non pecuniary interest…. please note in the instance of this school another Councillor voted against others in his party to vote for the application which under normal circumstances wouldn’t raise an eyebrow but a pattern is emerging and one we should be aware  of and no doubt is noticed by those of his own political persuasion. 

Well 6 pm tomorrow night I will be at the council chambers, I hope if you decide to attend you come up and say hello, I will attempt to share any relevant information with you via this  blog and sometimes Twitter during the meeting. I would be most interested to know if you felt the outcome of the community engagement reflected your attitude to the rate increase. As I’ve said before I don’t expect everyone to support my view but to a person not one has said to me that they supported the rate increase…which when you consider the councils outcome, has me wondering.

Please also note that the Liverpool Leaders event is planned for the 19th February at Bringelly Hall,  the Premier has to my knowledge not confirmed his attendance however has been asked so we’ll see if he is genuinely interested in hearing from the community, especially those who may be lumbered with an airport and whose #powermadmayor is advocating they get the intermodal as well.

Sign off


Great people, positive vibe

August 27, 2013

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)Meeting people has always been one of my favorite things, with the outstanding weather at the moment, chatting with people as I drop off leaflets has to be an amazing use of time.

So far people have all been positive and supportive, although being a weekday not as many are at home as I would meet on the weekend. We’re not going crazy with the signs this election, there are a few out, but I refuse to compete with my opponents. Really all that plastic is just not me, we will however attempt to make sure that every school on election day has a reminder that the Greens are a viable and genuine choice this election. With the absurd comments coming from the opposition leader at the moment, in so many ways he’s doing our job for us… $200 for heterosexual marriages… you have to be kidding, buying boats, really. If we’re going to prop up another countries economy I can think of  better ways.

 

At the end of the day I have faith that the Australian voter will make the best choice.

For anyone in doubt of our (The Greens)  effectiveness as a party, ask yourself, if Adam Bandt is not achieving his goals for Melbourne why in the devil would both old parties preference each other ? If you really want genuine change and a real voice in this coming parliament, think outside the square, voting Greens  into the house of Reps will certainly have your voice heard… go on I dare you 😛  Then as a safety measure Vote Greens 1 in the senate – you really can make a difference.

Have a great day, maybe I will see you at tomorrow nights council meeting. You get to watch them throw more of your rates money at parking investigations, another $120,000 on top of the consultants that were engaged over the last 4 years… after all its not their money they’re throwing around, its yours, but wait theres’ more………..

Sign off


Council Meeting 29.5.13

May 30, 2013

Signe Westerberg Headshots (96 of 102)Last night’s council meeting may go down as one of the dullest to witness but that’s  ok because when they aren’t dull they are often rude, insulting divisive and aggressive. Much time was spent debating items that should have been sorted yonks ago but still linger and often for the political mileage it gives.

One issue very close to my heart is the parking initiative in Liverpool, I spent nearly 4 years on the CBD committee as community rep with a number of Councillors (past and present) creating what was a initiative to move Liverpool forward and to address what was our greatest downfall….Parking, no matter who you spoke with, local or otherwise, Parking was always the issue.

To refresh you and no being no longer covered by the premise of secrecy as I’m no longer a committee member,  all the Councillors at the time supported the parking initiative, including the meters. It has been necessary to tweak and restructure some of the decisions made at the time based on genuine community needs, for instance starting the meters at 9am not 8. This tweaking was expected and scheduled. The promise of all parking revenue to be  returned to parking which has been questioned recently is an important and yet unconfirmed item I’d like clarity on.

Removing the meters altogether is absurd and in my opinion and is merely a campaign point that can be taken to the next election. Especially considering I believe there would be uproar if the $1.+ Million spent installing them was simply removed. On the upside is there has been significant change in parking behaviour, mostly of workers who now park on the periphery of Liverpool thereby leaving more spaces available for shoppers. The new changes will bring some of those workers back into Liverpool proper, $10/day at the Warren and $7/day at Northumberland (particular levels only). Shop keepers have noticed the improvement in trade especially in the southern end of Liverpool and the inclusion of a 15 minute free parking will be embraced I’m sure by many, they should however be very careful as 15 minutes is often not enough time to pick, choose, pay for anything considering the slow access to EFT machines in some places. I consider the fines will flow for 16 mins etc and think that adding 20/40 cents to cover any delay a worthwhile thought. I’m not sure how this will actually work; will there be a 15 minute only docket? Will you simply be able to step outside and press again for another 15 minutes free and will this be rorted? Only time will tell I  guess but for those genuine people in the community the steps to improve the system are there albeit baby steps.

Many speakers in the public forum last night, a number of suits, from major companies/organisations attempting to protect their particular development, a number of residents spoke who live in Chipping Norton near one particularly favoured and noisy park. Why is this so hard seriously, we have a number of fabulous parks for the whole community, why doesn’t council just insist that with groups over 100 people that a permit has to be issued with strict and enforceable noise restrictions?  Council has been dancing around this very distressing issue for way to long, make it a blanket rule for all parks, under 100 people no worries show up enjoy, over 100 and you need a permit, for any amplifiers etc you also need a permit or they are prohibited. Parking restrictions similarly, Council spends so much time achieving absolutely nothing because they dither around the edges instead of making firm decisions and enforcing them.

Men’s sheds are a particular passion of mine and while I understand the LCC/Salvation army peoples shed at Heckenberg seemed like a good alternative, it really isn’t as a men’s shed. I was pleased that council last night voted to pursue options for a number of these amazing facilities across the LGA. About time really! David Rue spoke well and pleasingly Council listened.

Time fast ran out as the meeting progressed and as always a number of items were bundled together for expediency, this it seems may have actually worked out in my favour lol, but it really isn’t an ideal outcome. The other concern was a couple of issues were to go into confidential session and they simply got left undone, from experience this will be the last we hear of them, as they float off into the ether of time.

From time to time (inside and outside council meetings and around the community)  residents  speak with me about particular issues, thank you, and I will follow up, sometimes it takes me a while as I don’t have any access to information like Councillors do but I will get you the answers as best I can. In the meantime please watch what is happening in our community, don’t believe everything you hear and check it out for yourself.

As I mentioned yesterday, there is a lot happening here and across the state. Early this morning (4am)  the O’Farrell coalition of hate (Nile and Shooters) passed repressive and retrospective laws that will affect greatly the victims of crime, while we were sleeping another regime of hate slipped past almost everyone. Hats off to David Shoebridge, Greens MLC for his diligence and hard work in standing up for those voiceless in our community, he achieved a small concession but an even greater loss to the community was realised.

Locally the proposed changes to the code of meeting practice are scary and needs your attention. The Mayors (I’ve heard not only ours) are using the Mayoral minutes to introduce items to local councils that are unchecked, unquestioned, unchanged and unprepared that will have long term affect on our communities. I will prepare a submission and post it here in the coming days however  I cannot recommend highly enough the need for you to also write and tell the council NO. We pay our experienced staff for their expertise to make sure advice to Councillors is well researched and due diligence takes place,  these mayoral minutes will undermine that process completely and in my opinion is a very  slippery slope we should avoid at all costs. My voice alone is not enough, this is an issue you all need to voice an opinion on and if it helps feel free to copy some of mine and include it in yours if it makes it easier, however remember your view is important and it should show your concerns not just mine. I’ll work on this in the coming days and post it as I will my submission for the drafts for the coming  1, 4  and 10 year plans.