Budget and Delivery Programs

May 18, 2017

Hi, It’s been quite a while since I posted, lots happening however there are a few things I’d like to update you on.

Forums have changed, sadly without discussion with the attendees, along with the format for community forums have changed. Some changes are positive however the frequency is one of the less positive. While we used to meet every month now they are held every three months and the locations have increased. Council has prepared a detailed list of the venues and dates and having attended all 6 in April the increase in attendance was approximately 1/3rd. Many of the old participants were not in attendance and it will be very interesting to see if this remains so, whether the numbers will increase or lessen and the format endorsed remains to be seen. The new forums are run by councillors, Labor and LCIT party councillors, the positive being that 6 councillors now attend the forums where previously only 2 sometimes 3 showed up of the 11.

Drawing attention to the fewer forums events (now being quarterly) means that now as the Budget and delivery program are on public exhibition the usual community engagement amounts to just one public event being presented and that was held tonight at Carnes Hill community centre. Having been away for some time during the last month this almost escaped me too, thankfully a call this afternoon alerted me to the program and I and 5 other attendees were taken through the basics. I urge everyone to get a copy of the documents and take some time to read through them. As always there are some positives and a few questions I”ll need to consider, however after many years of requesting both forward projections and past years data this has been provided.  The staff in attendance were more than happy to answer questions and each offered to be contacted directly with other concerns.

Sadly and no real surprise was that not one councillor chose to attend to listen to the concerns and questions of residents. NOT ONE!! Either they couldn’t be bothered, there was a briefing session or someone forgot to tell them lol. I’m guessing with the council meeting on the 31 it is possible for there to be a briefing session, disappointing if  that is the case but possibly not as disappointing as the idea that none of them could be bothered. Alas I’m sure someone will enlighten us.

Having missed the last council meeting (6 since 2007) I’m a little out of the loop on some things however all is pretty much back to normal and I will be darkening your email doorsteps again, hopefully regularly.

Don’t’ forget NOW IS THE TIME  to lodge your concerns and questions in relation to council expenditure and incomes over the coming year. If you don’t make the effort you can’t complain if the council spends your rates money contrary to your expectation. With the plans for a VERY EXPENSIVE Civic Centre in train, proposed debt/borrowings over about 10yrs of over $100million on top of the infrastructure backlog in the hundreds of millions. Parking costs will increase, rental of council properties will increase, so it’s time to have a close look, consider the fairness and ensure the equity for all residents .

Thanks to the 5 staff members who were in attendance, I’m looking forward over the coming days to drill further into the detail and prepare my submission, I believe it’s due on the 28th. (clearly I need to check lol)

Watch this space, thanks to those who enquired about me and my lack of postings.

 

 

 


a tid bit of information -ok more than a little information

April 29, 2013

TCorp logoFor those interested in how Liverpool is fairing in the scheme of things:

http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/dlg/dlghome/documents/tcorp/Liverpool%20City%20Financial%20Assessment%20Report.pdf

TCorp Financial Assessments 

In December 2011, the Division of Local Government (DLG) appointed TCorp to assist DLG and NSW Treasury in respect of the State Government’s Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme (LIRS) initiative. The LIRS initiative seeks to address councils’ ‘Infrastructure Backlog’ by providing councils with an interest rate subsidy on loans to fund infrastructure projects

 http://www.dlg.nsw.gov.au/dlg/dlghome/dlg_GeneralIndex.asp?areaindex=TCORP&mi=46&ml=1

it is amazing what information can be found with a little help… this states that what we believed was a 250M$ backlog is actually even greater…please note it says 2011.

“Council’s reported infrastructure backlog of $262.8min 2011 represents 24.3%of its infrastructure asset value of $1,081.9m. Other observations include:

 Council’s infrastructure backlog has increased by 46.1% ($82.9m) since 2009

 Public road assets made up 55.0% of the infrastructure backlog and is being partly addressed in one of the two LIRS projects

 Council is not investing sufficient funds on asset renewals to maintaintheirassets in their current condition and this may cause the backlog to increase”

happy reading 🙂

So I can’t be accused of not including additional info this was in the SMH 30/4/13

img-430171830-0001


To CCTV or not to CCTV

October 3, 2012

<img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-3121" title="Surveillance camera's" src="https://signe4liverpool.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/surveillance
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Final meeting for the current term.

August 21, 2012

Last night was the last meeting of this elected council. Mayor Waller and Cllr Gilani were not in attendance, perhaps ill, and Cllr Napolitano was in the chair. There was an enormous difference in the ‘tone’ of the meeting and I cannot believe it was anything other than the absolute disdain from councillors towards the Mayor (& perhaps visa versa) which is sad if correct.

Most things hummed along nicely, a small number of debates relating to DA issues, some way beyond the purview of the topic but none the less debated.  No real nastiness or aggressiveness which in itself was a nice change.

The GM presented his review of the 4 year term with lots of lovely pictures and the financial situation of council was presented as a positive.

One thing totally confused me however:  It seems when councillors began in 2008 Council was $55M in debt… Council  now only have $35M in debt but that doesn’t count the $10M dollar interest free loan…I am not sure why it doesn’t  include the $10M…because whether interest free or not I’m pretty sure it’s still a debt. However, seems not, as Cllr Hadchiti had it confirmed. Now I’ve heard this said before and thought I was mistaken but I’ve now heard this at least twice.

Council have already collected around $15m in additional rates from ratepayers via the 9% increase, that will have been used for infrastructure ($5M/year for 3 of 5 years)…I imagine all our borrowings are for repairs, maintenance etc so I can’t work out how we are financially Better off… I’m happy to be corrected and I do get that the Rates increase isn’t a debt because we don’t have to  pay it back. Council in 2008  started off with a $200M backlog of infrastructure maintenance repairs etc  and according to Cllr Harle, recently that is now $240 million.

Don’t get me wrong, I get it, if you don’t have the dollars for maintenance etc it gets worse not better… therefore increasing, but the Math above still has be confounded. If correct I’ll be looking for one of those interest free loans real soon especially if they aren’t considered debt.

I am looking forward to some changes in the council makeup, I would like to think that those changes will bring with them a more cohesive and friendly group of councillors. Just before the meeting moved into closed session to discuss the General Manager’s performance and remuneration review, councillors did have the opportunity to say their last goodbyes and thankyou’s. Cllr Napolitano assuring councillors she was not gone, just changing locations and we’d be hearing from her regularly from the gallery…Cllr Lucas made a plea that those returning and incoming councillors be participants not viewers (my wording not his, but the sentiment was the same) he also committed to actively working on Polling booths etc for Ms Napolitano if she ever chose to run for council again and Cllr Hadchiti acknowledged disagreements with staff and thanked them for their support as did Cllrs Mannoun, McGoldrick and Harle in greater and lesser degrees.

Council is now in caretaker mode until after the council election on the 8th of September, when you, the voting public get to choose who represents you for the coming 4 years. My sincere hope is those incoming and returning councillors will work together for Liverpool, leave party politics at the door, debate on merit not party lines  and show up – become more involved, transparent and visible. I f you’re not clear on what I mean here, you can read back through different events over the last 4 years and decide for yourself.

Mine and my team’s commitments are clear and we promise to do exactly that when you entrust us with your vote on September 8th, we will be vocal, we will be representative and we will show up. Did you know this is the First time, Greens have run candidates  for election in Liverpool City?

PS: if you can explain why interest free isn’t a debt pls share via comments I’m happy to post your ideas.


I’m over it! Lets get some truth into the argument

July 13, 2011

Everywhere you turn , some politician or shock jock is bemoaning the carbon pollution tax. As a small business owner, I keep hearing how the carbon tax will affect me… no one is talking about the fact that over the last 18mths to 2yrs my electricity bill at the office has risen about 60%, give me the carbon tax pricing anytime as long as  someone else can wear the cost of poor maintenance I’m paying for now… we need to separate these issues, people are being scared by existing electricity hikes, but no one is telling them why they are happening now and it has nothing to do with the supposed carbon Tax, a  price on pollution to be  paid by the biggest polluters…

The sky is not falling, it’s simply that through the Howard years federally and the Numerous Leaders in State politics no one paid the maintenance costs, power poles and lines are shot. Howard actually bragged about banking my taxes…. if some of that money (you know that great big surplus) had been redirected to maintenance of sooo much infrastructure, we the people wouldn’t be struggling and certainly not under the proposed weight of a small flow on from the carbon pollution tax. My biggest increases aren’t going to happen, they are happening now and you simply cannot blame a tax that won’t be introduced until next July.

So why am I over it… we need to look after our planet, like it or not, we’ve stuffed it, so we need to fix it, I probably won’t see all the improvements in my lifetime, but I hope for my grandsons sake by the time he is 60 (50yrs from now) we will have at least made some real move towards undoing the crap we and those before us have managed to create. Neither the oceans nor the sky are tips, we need to stop treating them like it.

In the mean time, let’s stop whining about a tax that isn’t going to even happen until July 2012, ask what the present governments can do to assist in the back log of maintenance, pull back on personal waste and be glad the biggest polluters in this country will finally stop putting their hand out for subsidies and put their hand in their pocket to fix a problem they helped create.

You are welcome to disagree with me, but please don’t argue the science, cleverer people than I have proven it and I couldn’t even if I wanted to (which I don’t) argue it appropriately, tell me what we can do as a society to make real changes now… be it protecting our farm lands, our water ways, maybe even expect more of our politicians to get maintenance done on our failing infrastructure, because at the end of the day,most of the big increases are happening now.