Election results are in

September 17, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)Good news a week after the election day, we have a result and I am super delighted to say this is the best yet result for my local group.

As it turns out the voting got down to the wire, 20 counts before the final North ward member was clear and 26 counts before the south ward 5th member was clear. In north ward it ended up with myself, Sam Kayal and Gus Balloot (Libs) elected and in South with Lance (my husband) Phil Sim and Karress Rhodes (LCIT) elected neither were elected with a full quota and I’ve not yet drilled down to the actual difference but congrats to all 11 councillors on Liverpool Council. Saddest for me was that neither Cllrs Balloot nor Rhodes actually live in Liverpool, they earn an income from Liverpool but neither live here.

So here they are the team you selected to represent you for the Next 4 years. Mayor Wendy Waller (ALP)

North Ward:  Mazhar Hadid, (LIB) Ali Karnid (ALP), Peter Harle (LCIT), Nathan Hagarty (ALP) and Gus Balloot (LIB)

South ward: Tony Hadchiti (Lib) Geoff Shelton (ALP) Tina Ayyad (LIB aka Mrs Mannoun) Charishma Kaliyanda (ALP) Karess Rhodes (LCIT)

The real test will come over the coming weeks and years as to whether or not this group can work together, clearly the main protagonists are no longer on council but it will be interesting to see if the former #powermanmayor remains as a #puppetmaster and if there is any impact he has on both his family members still on council. I surely wonder sometimes, for 4 years I was unaware that Cllr Balloot was a cousin of the previous mayor, but it sure does account for all the glowing, incessant speeches he made throughout the term singing the praise of said mayor. Happy to stand corrected if this is untrue, my source was reliable but again always happy to add more information when it comes to hand. As you can see that is why when my husband and I ran we did so as an upfront, clearly stated partnership. We refuse to participate is skulduggery and partial information. I t will also be interesting to see how the former (I do love saying that) #Powermadmayor is going to manage all that extra family time he resigned for while his wife assumes a council role away from him. Then again it could become a family affair and everyone comes to council meetings.

I wish all the councillors well and trust they are truly there to represent the needs, hopes and dreams of our community. I await the ICAC reports and am hopeful that any wrongdoings of the past are highlighted and anyone caught and proven of using their position for personal gain is held to account. We now have an opportunity to move forward and with a little luck with a balanced, non aggressive and collegial approach to representing our city.

Lastly to my team, WOW you guys did so well and I’m so proud of each and every one of you. Sadly this time the people of Liverpool just missed out on seeing you in action and getting to know the passion in which you approach everything about Liverpool. We have a number of projects coming up and I know you will all put in 100% effort to ensure the residents of Liverpool get to see what we are really about,

Ecological sustainability | Social equality and economic justice || Grassroots democracy | Peace, nonviolence and disarmament

 

To all our supporters who handed out for us, thank you… we came so close.

 

The next council meeting is on the 12th October, I am hopeful to be in attendance (however its Lance’s Birthday so I need to organise around that a bit) see you there, if not at the next for sure.

 

Sign off

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Pre Poll started Tuesday….

June 18, 2016

Signe 2016 outdoorsHere we are 2 weeks from a Federal election, the candidates are known, the policies are being sprouted and the lies and stories being told…so from here what next.

Pre Poll is becoming a big factor in the selecting of a government. Nearly 30% of voters now vote in the weeks leading up to the election, long before all the policies and advertising have kicked in. So what to do?

There are lots of people standing outside polling places from the two old parties, and one or two from the Greens and/or other parties, all will kindly offer a piece of paper with their ideas, sadly some will foist themselves on you and walk you all the way to the door, pushy, possibly illegal and certainly inappropriate but it happens. You can resist but sadly if you happen to present as a person who may not be confident in English they have been known in the past to badger and bully…again you can resist and you should. It is disappointing however there are some who will tell you anything they think might sway your vote, even if it’s not quite true or a fair representation of their policies. This is why I urge you to look closely at your options and choose carefully, the choices you make could cost us way more than you could possibly think, remember the old parties regard a win at the polls as a licence (mandate) to do what they want, even if they didn’t present it to your before the election.

Your vote is important and it’s yours, regardless of what the How to Vote piece of paper says you decide where your vote goes, NO ONE ELSE! Just make sure you number all the boxes on the little paper and 6 above the line OR 12 below the line on the large white paper.

 

If you are unsure and you know who your favourite party/candidate is and you are happy with their policies and choices, make sure they get your first choice, from there work your way through until you’ve filled all the boxes on the Green paper (the little one) and when you move to the BIG BIG paper, same thing applies, put the No 1 in the party of your choice and work across (above the line) until you’ve numbered to 6… of course I think the Greens are the obvious choice for the 1 VOTE [in the senate they are in position AL] . However if you happen to favour one of the old parties but they aren’t living up to your expectations, give your first vote to the Greens 1 and then your favourite old party your No 2. Why… if the Green candidate doesn’t get up ( & sadly this is the case in a lot of electorates) your Green vote will pass down to your second choice, meaning your old party still gets the vote however they also get to know you’re not happy with their political choices. This is particularly important if you are against the treatment  of refugees, want NO NEW coal mines, think medicare is important and don’t want your kids education becoming a debt for decades to come etc etc  Voting like this will  get their attention as it also affects their funding – guaranteed 🙂

Then on the BIG white paper if you want to vote for individual candidates you really need to number 12 candidates below the line.  This is important, you want your vote to count and how we are treated for the next 3 yrs will rely on your vote. This election is being considered really close, the 2 old parties (Labor and Liberal National)  ensure that they basically get turns at governing, well that is until the voters realise that their vote can really change things… every single vote matters so please don’t underestimate its value. Here in Werriwa we have two councillors, a Christian Democrat and Me the Greens candidate, so the small paper has only 4 choices… the senate paper in NSW is big.

SO here’s the thing, you will be given How to Vote forms from the parties (including the Greens) at  most polling places, but it’s soooo important to remember, they are suggestions, in the case of the Greens, suggestions based on investigating what the other parties stand for and we attempt to choose parties who have similar priorities to our own. Unfortunately, the two old parties have done deals in this election to block out the Greens and some of the smaller parties by preferencing each other. This indicates one or two things, one it really shows that their policies are much the same and neither are progressive in nature or two keeping their duopoly and their jobs means more than the outcome for the people.

https://greens.org.au/htv#

click on the above link to find out about your Greens suggestions for the house of Reps and the Senate)

In Werriwa, you may in the past have seen Mr Mannoun or Ms Stanley in the press, as they were/are councillors, however do you know what they stand for? Considering any achievements either of them may take credit for in council were likely not their own but that of the whole of council, from 11 to up to 700 people who either contributed, enacted, thought it up or made sure it happened. Neither of them as councillors actually did what was required to make it happen in isolation. The difference with Mr Mannoun is that in this last term on council for the most part he had the support of the majority, right up until there was #nolibloveinlivo so what he/they thought were good ideas were pushed through. Many of those ideas were conceived during the previous term of council only he and his associates still had the balance of power so they were more obstructionist in nature and not as much could be achieved. I have to be completely honest I do not know the fellow from the Christian democrats so I cannot comment and to my knowledge he’s not visited our polling place, the two councillors I do, as I’ve attended all but three of the council meetings during both their terms.

This has been a huge week, tonight is my first evening at home so there is a bit to catch up  on, however from the get go I want to say thank you to so many lovely people I’ve met and chatted with this week, you are amazing and you truly deserve better governance than you’ve been getting from the Liberals and Labor.

Tuesday evening I attended the Western forum and what a jammed packed program that was, we got a briefing re the BCAirport consultancy and the Council presentation regarding the budget… please take some time to look at what is happening or planned for the coming year and make comment.

Wednesday evening was the Quota dinner at Hunts, what a great evening and congrats to the new board. Quota has a long and amazing history in Liverpool and I’d also like to wish the outgoing board members all the best. Thank you for always making me feel so welcome.

Thurssigne LMRC MTCday was the Liverpool Migrant Resource Centres Meet the Candidates event, hosted and recorded by SBS Arabic. The room full of interested residents were able to listen to a 3 minute introduction of candidates from Hughes, Fowler and Werriwa. Kudos to my colleague Bill Cashman who is the candidate for Fowler and he as always spoke so eloquently, passionately and informatively. Anne Stanley and I were speaking for Werriwa as the Liberal Candidate arrived 2 &3/4 hours late. Wining and dining with  Mr Turnbull was more important I guess, hence his tardiness. No one I spoke to was surprised, his reputation for being late or not showing at all is well known.  I will attach my 3minute intro here for those who are interested.

Last night (Friday)we had a campaign team meeting and the one thing that became incredibly obvious was our need for volunteers to help out both at the Pre Poll places and on Election day. If you have a couple of hours free and you’d like to help us make sure the community is aware there is more than the two old parties in this election, please contact me directly. If you are interested  in helping out we have a really ‘schmick’ t-shirt, badge and a load full of appreciation.

Unlike some of our opposition we are unable to pay our volunteers and I’ve been working all  week with a small team on the Green Valley Pre poll (with many thanks to Andre and Alisha) Our full time Liberal Mayor has managed to spend several hours a day campaigning there also along, with some council employees who have advised me they  had taken leave to hand out for him and Anne Stanley has been a regular although she resigned from council so she could campaign for Labor.

Lastly…. here’s a little a teaser, the Greens Werriwa and Fowler campaigns have a truly unique green idea ready to share, so watch this space, especially if you are one of those tech savvy people who want to save a tree to two. 

I’ll keep in touch, don’t forget this week the Urban forum has been moved to the Library so come along and listen to the proposed budget presentation. I was asked to keep the 22/23rd June free for the Liverpool Leaders MTC but I’ve not heard any more so will advise when and if I get more information.

(this is quite long but it’s been a huge week… I’ll try to post more regularly so it’s not a small book lol) As always if you have an opinion to add… just email me here and I’ll present yours as well.

 

Sign off


Is Karma a bitch or just desserts

February 7, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots (96 of 102)I’m sure by now many of you have heard the news, especially those who listen to ABC 702. Our Liberal majority have again managed to embarrass us. This weeks council meeting was pretty crap, in fairness after the  nonsense around 10pm they did manage to get on with business (sadly I had had to leave by then) however what preceded it was  more than ordinary.

It began as always with speakers, two, one from the Serbian club and another resident from a resident action group. Condolences for one of Liverpool’s dedicated volunteers who passed away last Saturday, Mrs Judy Pack, a truly amazing woman who shared her passion for our history and Liverpool itself. May she rest peacefully and her family know how valued she really was.

The gentleman from the Serbian Club spoke of the Asbestos that we’ve been hearing about for some time now locally and on the news and how the club would like assistance in cleaning up the problem…

The gallery was well attended by council employees who are still quite concerned about the security of their jobs and speaking with some outlined to me how poor the morale is in LCC, and not just those being run by Propel. It distresses me personally that our staff, the same people we expect so much of, are feeling that their jobs are at risk, their services not appreciated and undervalued. Sadly this appears to be the modus operandi of this present management however I do my best to remind them that not everyone feels that way. The US Union was in attendance keen to hear the outcome of the rescission motion pertaining to the employee’s tenure.

Within about half an hour we (the gallery) were all expelled so council could go into closed session to debate how to respond to both the asbestos matter, and the Pub matter in Casula that had that day gone to the Land and Environment court.  Here we had a large number of people pretty p’d off that their evening was being taken for granted and with such disrespect. Alas they did finally re-emerge and things got underway AGAIN.

As I’ve mentioned previously there is little Liberal Love in Liverpool anymore, the infighting and lack of respect that used to be reserved for their Labor colleagues has now well and truly spilled over into  their own ranks. There are open debates and nastiness and Cllr Ristevski it seems  is keen to build a name for himself. Part of me would like to think he’s acting with Liverpool’s best interests at heart however I am not sure, the jury is still out on that I’m afraid however he is taking on the Mayor at his own game.  The one thing that is clear is that in Liverpool History does repeat itself over and over and over.

I’ve been watching these meetings for a long time now, I’ve seen the blatant bullying of a General Manager, I’ve watched those who chose to be part of the bullying themselves become the victims of these same councillors and now Karma is setting in and the Mayor and his cohorts are experiencing the very same divisiveness and destruction they themselves inflicted on others. This is not what our councillors were elected for, presently Labor councillors are not always the recipients of the nastiness, however Cllr Hadchiti is continuing to over step the mark in how he addresses Cllr Waller (or on other occasions Cllr Stanley in particular), sadly this week when Cllr Waller called a point of order to redress the situation, the Mayor chose not to respect the integrity of council but to endorse Cllr Hadchiti’s outburst of inappropriate comments.

Back to Cllr Ristevski, his recent defiant manner took a turn, the proverbial pretty much hit the fan when he called for a vote of no confidence in the Mayor and CEO in relation to the handling of Asbestos matter and the Mall refurbishment. I do think Mr Ristevski should do his research a little better and make sure when he is planning something as important as this that he knows what he can and cannot do, what can be done in open council and what requires a bit more attention to detail. It could have become a really interesting outcome, however he himself voted against the very thing that was needed to actually follow through, instead in my opinion, risking his motion for notoriety and adulation. I am confident this isn’t the last we’re going to hear about this and while Cllr Ristevski was eventually kicked out of chambers and another rescission motion is on the cards, nothing was gained from the shenanigans of this week.  Another interesting/disappointing  thing of note was the very quick exit of Cllr Mamone, as one who has been on the receiving end of the nastiness and bullying over the time, her hasty departure would have impacted quite significantly on the Motion of no confidence and I’m guessing that was her goal. It was during this time that the Mayor in my opinion came extremely close to deformation, especially when  he called Cllr Ristevski a Liar. Insults were bandied about and Liverpool again became the place of nastiness and lack of professionalism.

I am pleased to say however that with the urging of Cllrs Waller, Harle and the support of the Labor councillors and Ristevski our staff are safe for now.

Here are the minutes to the meeting, while they give you the nuts and bolts they are limited in adding the colour they managed to get us notoriety in the press.

http://liverpool.infocouncil.biz/Open/2016/02/CO_20160203_MIN_296_WEB.HTM

As always there is much more to a council meeting than a few words from me can encompass, however as mentioned Karma is raising its head here in Liverpool and much of what was dished out to others in the past is being brought to fruition on those who inflicted nastiness and bullying on others.

Lastly I had the great pleasure of attending the TET festival in Fairfield last night (Saturday). what an wonderful event, however as is often the case in Liverpool, the #powermadmayor had responded and been included on the guest list and failed to show up. When chatting with a couple of the dignitaries present, it was noted that this is the norm and they weren’t surprised “He RSVP’s yes to everything and just doesn’t show up” was the comment I heard and I feel that sentiment is being echoed here in Liverpool as well. While I accept there is much to do as Mayor, please don’t say you’ll be there and not show up, it’s poor form and bad manners. That said none of our councillors attended however MPs Hayes & Lynch were in attendance. Strange that with so many notables in attendance none of our councillors found their way over the border.

 

TET Festival 2016 Happy Year of the Monkey

TET Festival 2016 Happy Year of the Monkey

20160206_182825_resized 20160206_182831_resized 20160206_182850_resized 20160206_194419_resized 20160206_194425_resized

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time… Happy Lunar New Year… especially to all those Monkeys out there.

 

Sign off

 

 

 

 

Ps Council forums begin this week at Bringelly and the Urban forum is still in doubt as mentioned towards the end of last year.


Colouring in time at LCC.

October 18, 2015

Signe Westerberg Headshots (60 of 102)It’s been a little while since I posted and having missed my first council meeting in many years I feel like I should be offering a list of excuses… that said, I have only one, my family needed my undivided attention and they got it… Thank you for those who enquired and have offered support.

thegreatsouthw logoNow back to council matters… holy crap, I went along to the launch yesterday of the New Liverpool brand and I am delighted to suggest the designer organisation is very clever, not for the design, hell no, its pedestrian, but in that they have assured themselves of future work when the very limited appeal of this offering will no doubt have them trying to sell us an up to date one in a year or two. I have no recollection of any community input or consultation give to the community in the selection of the building blocks we will now see all over our council vehicles, letter heads and heaven knows what else. The possible plus is we might lose the Mayors head for a while and gain the pretty colours but we will lose the link to our past, our indigenous community and the rivers, trees etc that make up our beautiful city. The Mayor touted the link with our multicultural community, diverse opportunities etc etc. But from what I can see we got colourful letter blocks and a greatsouthw … I’ve posted it here for you to see and comment, seems only fair there should be one place where you can have your say and when you consider the multiple 6 figures it took to pay for this out of your rates dollars that seems at least fair. OK I’m guessing the cost, when I asked a councillor what the cost was they advised that they had no clue, their enquiries had failed to produce a dollar figure, however when you add the cost of a consulting firm, the Liverpool on a plate adventure in Martin Place and the merchandising I guestimate it wasn’t cheap… and folks you’re stuck with it.  Here is the present Logo…maybe not as colourful but imo sleek, recognisable and future proof.. in that it’s leLCC identifierss likely to date than the new building blocks – Either way I’ll leave it to you.

 

On a positive side, I did attend the Public Transport Users forum and Liverpool Library yesterday and while attendance was lower than I’d have hoped there were representatives of the bus companies in attendance and good discussion was had as to the needs of  the community across this great city, all the way to the western reaches of Liverpool.  Two council representatives were in attendance as well so the matters discussed will be taken up I’m sure by those same council employees who attend the traffic committee. That said NOT ONE Councillor thought it important enough to attend but then they were probably making themselves pretty for the next big event which was the Anniversary party celebrating CPACS 21st Birthday, which was held after the logo launch at CPAC.  Congrats to those who have fought hard to keep our precious Arts centre over the years, its now considered a prestige venue and boasts some of the most amazing presentations and exhibitions available today.

Looking at the New Logo and the implication that Liverpool is all there is in the Great south West might come as a surprise to our neighbours but hey for Me Liverpool is the only choice but I’d have shown a little more grace to my neighbours. Watch out for your little bag of tricks, a nifty little computer stick to see the video advert and the good quality booklet and logo bag… I’m wondering how council will ensure plenty are made available to those whose money actually paid for them.

Until next time, please feel free to let me know your thoughts on the last council meeting, from what I’ve heard it was a corker…and very lengthy as it had to be completed a day or so later. Share your thoughts on the new logo, the use of your rates money etc.

Sign off

 

 

 

 

I heard a Mayoral hopeful  Mr Maatouk let it rip against the Mayor at the last council meeting and from what I’ve heard the Mayor saw fit to engage not shut down the tirade thrust upon him, I’m not sure if that was a wise decision however I have no doubt Mr Maatouk used it to his advantage. My question is, where do all these hopefuls go between elections, just like Mr Byrne, they only raise their heads when there is a hint of an election in the wind. Surely the community isn’t that gullible and after this  present bunch of Libs half of whom we’d never seen before, the community will endeavour to find candidates who actually attend, participate and engage throughout the years not just in time for which ever elections comes their way. There will be others…

 

 


BENEFITS VS LIABILITIES

August 20, 2015

Signe Westerberg HeadshotsFAV (78 of 102)Here we are in August 2015, we have a Liberal National Government, a Liberal State Government and a Liberal majority local government. So let’s look at the benefits we get from this as Liverpudlians. We Get a Mega Modal at Moorebank, we get immeasurable damage to our air quality, safety and our river, we get an Airport at Badgerys Creek without a rail link but it too will have another paid expressway, we get more trucks on our local roads, we get lots of pictures of the Mayor, we get infighting amongst those same local Libs that makes the Mainstream media regularly, we get a lot of stomping and stamping from MP’s Craig Kelly and Melanie Gibbons, we get to lose our historical presence at the Military barracks for all time thanks to said intermodal, we get committees locally that are predominantly business people, who don’t necessarily live here, directing the way we head economically in Liverpool, we get lots more pollution, we get waaay more congestion, we get no noise barriers on the M5, we get more noise along the SSFL and we get another lane on the M5 (someone has to provide for all those trucks) we get millions of dollars spent ensuring the Mayor and his cronies get a mall  in Liverpool built before the next election, we get greater housing infill, higher rise developments, we get looser planning instruments thanks to the state government, we get less of a voice over development in our communities, we get the threat of amalgamated councils,  we get more public transport, just kidding thats not happening, we get a council intent on selling our public space and pocket parks, oops that’s reclassification in view to sell, we get a proposal that at the cost of several million George and Northumberland Streets will be opened to two way traffic (imagine for one minute accessing the car park in Northumberland St from the south/north lane and the safety???)

So how is  having the party in power working for us in Liverpool…. no too well in my opinion? What’s worse we get people who sing the praise of the Mannouns, Kellys and Gibbons’s who being part of the party of power are basically voiceless in their own parties. What the bloody hell for I ask… anyone can stand on a soap box and decry all the problems but wouldn’t you think electing those in power would bring some of that power to our community, IT SEEMS NOT, in fairness we’re getting more Voice from the likes of Alan Jones than electing any of these politicians has afforded us and Alan is quite selective in what he supports and what he doesn’t,of course his prerogative. We also get a pretty much silent opposition from the Labor members elected, but in fairness it’s their turn to say we aren’t in government we can only try. At council meetings you will see some councillors of opposition try but I have commented before at the appalling manner in which they are treated, so 3 years in I think that their opposition  has lessened or  a the very least been beaten down.

I look at the list above and think may be all those ‘we gets’ are the liabilities…not the benefits and we’ll continue to get nothing while ever the community blindly follows the old parties down which ever track they choose to pull us.

AND…before anyone tells me we’re finally getting stuff happening in Liverpool, most of the proposed local upgrades and improvements have been long planned and while timely for this elected bunch they were at least on the drawing board for some time. Some changes in location but some might say thats to appease a particular local business or two not the community. I know I was on one of the committees who worked on them in years past. The only real change is the willingness, even eagerness of this council to borrow money from the future (TIF for ten years) to ensure things  ‘happen’ during this term.

So over to you, please share your list of benefits and liabilities, its nearly that time of year when I do a run down on council in the last 12 months. How are your local roads looking, do you feel you are better informed with what is happening with your rates dollars, are the facilities in your area up to the standard you want, need, desire? There will be as always differing opinions, not everyone watches as closely as I do to what happens in Liverpool. Not everyone cares or has the time to speak up but if you’d like to register some items here that you feel makes a difference, please do.

We have a great city, a wonderful community and a rich vibrant mix of residents, share your views, your ideas, the things you love about Liverpool today, perhaps even those things you miss.

Lastly don’t forget next week is the council meeting, you can check out the agenda online tomorrow, presently there is only an attachment document. We have just on 12months to an election, you will hear lots and lots over the coming months, most of it will be self promotion but who knows I could be wrong.

Lastly,  there was a meeting about air quality and impacts at the Hilda M Davis centre tonight, sadly work commitments prevented me making it on time, so if you happened to make it, please share the outcome, Cathy Oke was up from Victoria as one of the key drivers of this initiative so I am keen to hear what you thought about it.

More soon once I”ve had a chance to read the business papers…remember our parks will be on the agenda either this month or next so watch this space.

 

Sign off

 

 

 

PS… all the business papers are online at:            http://www.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/council/council-meetings/Council-Meeting-Business-Papers

 

 

 

 

 


contemplation, discussion and thankfulness

January 23, 2015

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)I am a little embarrassed to say I’ve had a couple of weeks focusing only on family….not because of the family side, that was brilliant but that I have no doubt missed a few things happening around town that I might have wanted to see, chat about or share. That said tomorrow is another day and we’re only a couple of days away from Australia Day, a big day out on Liverpool’s calendar.  Council meetings don’t commence until February and school returns just after Aus Day.

The local papers have put forward the chart of events at the Australia day event, and as much as I enjoy/relish the opportunity for Liverpool to get together in a pleasant way, it’s also timely to discuss how the day itself came about.

You see, we celebrate the English invasion of Terra Australis, at no time were they invited, nor did they seek to share the colony they chose to invade, to put it in a Today context, how different would it be if it were to happen today just as it did in 1788…. today however with a better access to information, generally more weapons, those things aside is there really that much different. The Indigenous owners of the land were forced, beaten and in Tassie eradicated, so the English could create a penal colony.

In our local group we begin our meetings by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Cabrogal clan of the Dharug nation, we also pay our respects to the more recent non indigenous elders who came here to work and live in harmony with the traditional owners, however nothing removes the fact that at no time did the traditional owners  of this land give up willingly the rights our forebears took from them.

Sovereignty was never ceded, there has never been a treaty, and the injustice of colonisation continues to this day.

This land has and always will be Aboriginal land.

I also take heart in that when an Elder welcomes us to their land they do so with open heart and gentle ways. One of my particular favourite welcomes was when in Picton some time ago when Aunty Francis Bodkin welcomed us in her language and spoke of the land. (Translated of course) I have a couple of her books and I must admit they are brilliant, she shares how this land matters, how it lives within us and the everyday things we take for granted (ie Parramatta) and how and where the names come from. We are also very lucky in Liverpool to have Uncle Steve Williams, last years Australia day honours recipient.

Please take a little time this weekend, to enjoy the majesty this country brings, our impact on it and those who came before us but mostly spend a few minutes thinking of ways we 200 + year Newer Australians can make things fairer for the traditional Australians as we tread their land.

This is not a sermon, just my ponderings and  a gentle reminder that things in Australia were not always, kind, friendly or thoughtful. We talk often about the injustices happening around the world, and there are many, but there are quite a few right here we need to address and Australia day is a perfect place to start.  Then of course we can move onto some politicians in NSW government trying to dictate what a woman can do with her  own body, how we treat the ill and dying, what govts are allowing to happen in the pursuit of the almighty dollar (fracking comes immediately to mind) but for today let’s focus and enjoy the treasures this land has and remember, its not always been wine and roses…but it could be.

 

ps… looks like LCC decided to wait until after the holidays to put some things on exhibition, keep an eye out for these in coming weeks…nice to see they listened to the community. 🙂

Sign off


Fears vs Facts, results and opinion.

November 25, 2014

Signe Westerberg Headshots (38 of 102)I have been sitting here thinking about the amazing people I’ve spent time with  during the last 12 months. Here we are nearing  the end of the year, over the last 12 months I have as always been honoured to be sitting along side them at community forums, walking along side them at public functions, actions and  exhibitions and generally being involved with the dynamic people who make up Liverpool. Life has been very busy and my writing has been severely hampered  by the number of things I am doing these days but I am looking forward to a quieter time over the coming months to regroup, re focus and re energise…

2015 is going to be a big year, the NSW people will be again asked to decide who should run the state government and seriously with the disgusting trough trolling of the two old parties I think this will be the year when all voters really have to sit back and say enough is enough. I’ve been thinking about this a lot and  I think is very important… can you blame the two old parties for ignoring you and treating you with contempt, when you keep on voting them in regardless of what they do to you, against you and against our future they really don’t have to worry because come rain or shine, they’ve set it up that one or the other will be re-elected? Well just for the record that’s not necessarily true… you the voter could really shake things up, you could really start the ball rolling on genuine change. Can you imagine how much attention both the old parties would pay us out here in dear old Liverpool if someone other than Labor or Liberal got voted into representing us  in Macquarie St? It’s no secret that I think the Greens offer the most forward thinking and community based policies and even if you don’t agree with them all, there would be very few who would deny our passion and commitment to the community. I do think this coming election will see a bunch of independents raise their hands but the question I ask you is the very same question I asked myself when I ran as an independent….how does  one person know what their whole community wants without a strong and committed team behind them? Needless to say I think Jacqui Lambie is a good example of this, she came into parliament on one promise and now only a few months in she’s changed her mind. Where does this leave those who voted for her promises and commitment now? Well meaning or not, on the money sometimes and others not even close, the hardest part of being an independent is wanting to make sure you are truly representing your community..well it was for me. I have truly appreciated that being part of a party allows you a plethora of opinions, ideas and debate and people listening around the community and having a strong base from which to represent your community.
Anyway back to the basics at home….

I am pleased and saddened to advise that I was pretty much correct in the make-up of the Badgerys Creek Taskforce. While all the names have now been released (via this months Council Agenda) I can say that the first name called was that of Neil Lal, Liberal Party member and former candidate for the Liberals….and if you believe what is in hansard some might even say he’s got a questionable/interesting history. As reported Pauline Rowe is a member (and resident of Badgerys Creek) and Local business Identity Harry Hunt got a guernsey too.  Briona (who’s surname escapes me) was also included compliments of Cllr Wallers request and two others. As I predicted the Greens and likely Labor won’t get any input into what happens in relation to the Badgerys Creek proposed Airport, which is quite sad considering a state election is just around the corner and our local council is making it very clear that they cannot work with others and that it’s their way or the highway….

I am disgusted that even though the community chose to elect more than just the Liberal party onto council, they have a majority therefore if you voted other than Liberal, they refuse to allow your voice be heard. In particular Cllr Stanley has been excluded from every committee, tokenism was shown to other Labor councillors and Cllr Harle got elected (again) to everything that the Libs themselves didn’t want. Being fair and reasonable seems a stretch too far for this #powermadmayor and his cohorts.

Having now attended all but the first few of the Economics  Committee meetings I can report that in some instances the events have had a positive outcome. While many of the events are regulars on the Liverpool calendar, with the economics committee being well supported  has been able to publicise and promote them, clearly better than has been done in the past. As to the night markets I am not convinced the numbers have increased as is often reported, however more people are aware of some of the events which is in itself a good thing for Liverpool.  The night markets are still a bit of an unknown quantity as to success, more and more rates dollars have been allocated to supporting the already heavily subsidised event by council (i.e. you and me) whether value for money that is still to be seen. The #powermadmayor and his cohorts certainly make sure they and their state and federal colleagues get sufficient press and attention, only time will tell if this is for Liverpools benefit or simply with the a state election on the horizon, will  similar will be done in the coming months?  With the intermodal and Badgerys Creek airport hot topics I am sure any opportunity to trot out the Liberal candidates will be taken. I guess the hope is should this be the case, fair and equitable opportunity will be provided for all political persuasions, unlike the past.

It is fair to say I am very politically aware, I have great faith in democracy. I sincerely believe it can be better and with voters so reasonably disillusioned by the old parties as I mentioned above and the few who have been caught with their hands in the till , I am extremely hopeful residents (voters) take the necessary time to really look at the candidates, find out who is seeking to represent them and who is  genuinely wanting to represent them and why. This to me is particularly important as the new seat of Holsworthy is deserving of candidates who want to represent them, not being their second choice as is the case for  the Liberal candidate.

I was also saddened to hear Dr McDonald has decided not to contest the seat of Macquarie Fields in the state election, he is one of the few I consider genuinely wanting to work for his community. I do wish him well in the future. Former Labor member and now Liberal councillor Hadid has announced he will run in the seat of Liverpool against incumbent MP Paul Lynch and rumour has it another Liberal councillor is considering throwing his hat in the ring also. With Barry O’Farrell changing the rules so that councillors cannot be both councillors and Local Members should they be elected would that mean Liverpool would be thrown into a bi-election and at whose cost? Will Mr Hadid be relying on his present Liberal history and celebrity or his many years as a Labor man to garner your vote?

Focusing on all things political is easy for me it interests me on so many levels, I do hope as we move closer to the State election, others might take a little more interest, not only in what a candidate says, but if in fact that candidate has ever shown the slightest interest or involvement  in the past. For instance, look at Liverpool councillors, how many of them actually involved themselves in happenings in Liverpool BEFORE they asked for your vote… 4 out of the 11 were pretty much unknowns (except perhaps to their immediate close circles I guess), while the 7 of the 11  were previous councillors of whom, 5/6 of them had been virtual unknowns (again except to their immediate close circles)…. Should we be demanding more of the candidates who represent us? Should we expect they have some kind of involvement before they seek your vote? Don’t get me wrong, sometimes 1 passionate nobody will achieve more than 10 self serving others… but how do we ensure a better balance for the community? I guess as the state election drawers near I will and I hope will others ask plenty more questions, seek answers and expect more. Fighting for our community is important, we need people who actually aren’t just seeking a long term political career, we need people who really want to achieve while they are there.

Council meeting is tomorrow night, I am particularly interested in one item on the agenda seeking an apology from a Penrith councillor for his shameful remarks about Liverpool and our community. I also see council is suggesting we take on further low interest rate loans and while this may fiscally make sense on occasion, the whole reason for the rates increase over the last 5 and a bit years was to ensure council didn’t over commit on loans. Clearly this is not the case as Liverpool compounds its debt more and more. There is another donation of $25,000 to the Wanderers football club and numerous other items. I will report on more after the meeting….as always if you are there come up and say hi or follow my tweets. I do get a bit tweet happy on council meeting nights 🙂

Thats enough from me for now, please share with me your views and your opinions, get on board when there is something happening across our LGA, good, great,  unfair or unreasonable, even if it doesn’t affect you directly…its time we all fought for the greater good, forgot our nimbyism and thought globally, even locally and less individually. Not long now and the Victorian State election is held, that too will be interesting and a quick well done to my colleagues in the Newcastle electorates who had bi elections due to sticky fingered old party MP’s as our Greens numbers rose significantly and those amazing candidates did themselves, their communities and our party so much good for standing firm on the priorities of good governance and fair representation.

 

Sign off