Time Flies – now back to business.

March 27, 2017

While many may be thinking I have disappeared the truth is quite the opposite. Council has changed forums from 2 to 6 and so far this month I have already attended 4 with varying results and have another 2 this week. I know a number of people who are dismayed at the changes without consultation with those who attended the previous forums and for me the decision as to their effectiveness is not yet known. I know that where I used to attend 2 and was welcomed, one councillor (as chair) has decided he would not enforce the ‘you’re not welcome you don’t live here’ clause in the new terms of reference. Lovely isn’t it, as a concerned and involved member of the community (and not just the one around my house) I am deemed an unwelcome addition. Funny I would have expected those kind of comments from the last majority however surprised the new is continuing the ‘them and us’ notions of the past. The eastern and 2168 panels are to be held this week and it will be interesting to see how they go. As I said I am reserving judgement for now, some attendances have been good and others not so, more importantly at some it is noticeable that former attendees have not been in attendance, dividing the areas may have something to do with that. It is also interesting to see these panels being chaired by councillors with staff as supporters. More interesting is that a number of these councillors never saw fit to actually attend any of the former forums but do so now as they get to chair and decide who is welcome and who is not. I do have to say at one if I had heard the word “guys” one more time I might have screamed, our penchant for americanising our language is one thing but 20-30 times in succession is a bit much. It will be interesting to see how these pan out, as has been identified a couple of times the community can request that they are held more frequently than the proposed quarterly and how that will impact on some residents is yet to be seen.

This week is the council meeting, I regret poor health prevented me attending the last (not too bad missing only 5 in 9 yrs) so I am now reading through both last months and this month’s papers in the hope I’ve not missed anything too important. That said items in confidence are again numerous this week, there are 7, and while it is not unusual for there to be a dozen on the agenda, the idea that information (of the non commercial inconfidence style) is being with held. One cannot clearly make out what each of the items in confidence are referring to and the act seems to give license to way too much information being withheld from those who are actually paying for it, we the rate payers.

I am pleased to see a couple of items near and dear to my heart on this agenda, the Tree replacement questions are incredibly important and our lack lustre approach to removal of trees in development sites has for too long gone unaddressed and the councils penchant for replacing trees with shrubs has been questioned by me on numerous occasions previously. Or in the case of this picture and entire tree removed rather than preventative work done in the first place. Worse is it is unlikely this tree will be replaced at all. ūüė¶

There are a few things we as a community should be closely watching and commenting on in the wider community, the councils 2027 strategic plan is on ¬†public exhibition until Wednesday and this is your opportunity to comment… while at the same time the Greater Sydney Commission public comments are due. This is particularly important as in many (all) cases this unelected, unrepresentative group of people get to override the elected members of our councils and make decisions that will impact our futures, how development and growth impact on generations still to come. While I am confident not all their decisions will be bad for us, who elected them, who asked that this group of most likely well meaning but completely unrepresentative of our community gets to make decisions as to what gets dumped on us next?

I don’t think many people are aware of the numerous and enormous impacts things like the Moorebank Intermodal, the Badgerys Creek Airport, CSG mining and the New ever disgraceful Worlds Largest Incinerator (at Eastern Creek) ¬†will affect our air, our water and our climate with all that pollution and concrete. As a community we really do have to rally against being the dumping ground for abhorrent development, no matter how pretty a bow of environmentally friendly they tie to it. None of those projects are good for the environment, not for your health, not for your kids health and their kids to come… ¬†It’s a little like Cllr Balloots Affordable housing question a month or two ago, he titled it Affordable housing, but on reading it, it actually addressed not one concern that would make housing more affordable, it did however if it had not been withdrawn at the last minute, benefit developers very well. Far too often today are we being sold environmentally beneficial projects that in fact have¬†no benefit to the environment at all… the label helps sell the project but on closer reading in too many instances it actually has the opposite effect. It not unlike the present federal government’s push to reduce taxes to big business, one, it would be nice if they paid appropriate taxes in the first place but removing them under the guise that it helps business employ more workers is just bunkum, it most certainly does improve their ¬†bottom line and that of their shareholders but when did you hear of a company increasing wages? when did you hear that they employed more workers and not put off people/downsize or move off shore? As for small businesses they won’t get any benefit at all and if you read the bureau of statistics figures more small businesses operate locally than big ones and they could really do with a few more customers, you know¬†by increasing the support for those unable to find work or those unable to find enough work so they can spend locally, raising wages, supporting penalty hours, so locals could spend at the local stores and actually boost employment and productivity. This is a subject I could talk about for hours but for now I need to work on my submissions and work on things that will actually benefit my community.

Thanks to those who enquired after my non attendance at the last council meeting, all is well and your concerns appreciated.

See you at the council meeting on Wednesday, or the Eastern forum on Tuesday, 2168 on Thursday…

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 


A little overdue, some information, and some well wishes — all with a little colour

December 22, 2014

signe-westerberg-headshotsfav-78-of-102-21We are about to embark on what is traditionally a joyous and completely complicated time of year, while many/even most people enjoy the Christmas giving season, too many others are distraught with sadness, uncertainty and misgivings…


Here is a quick catch up from me.

I am going to start with my thankfulness for the company of some truly outstanding people I’ve come across and worked with throughout the past year. Liverpool‚Äôs residents are by far an amazing collage of people, cultures and levels of engagement all making that fine fabric we call Liverpool. To all those people I say thank you and may these coming weeks, bring, rest and enjoyment and the company of family and friends.

Council…that’s a whole different subject I’m afraid to say. Lots of our rate paying dollars are being directed at pet projects so the Liberal councillors can claim they have achieved things. In fairness they have achieved a little, or to be more accurate they have managed to finalise tasks that were initiated in the previous council and brand them with their stamp. One such success is the Men’s shed that opened only last week. Many of us have been singing the praise of such establishments for quite some time and through the diligence of some of our residents it has come to pass… quite an amazing establishment on the entrance of Casula Powerhouse road, a stone’s throw from the Georges River. My sincere congratulations to the steering committee and the many residents who donated not only time but tools for this brilliant initiative. Next imo is a hope that these fine residents extend their hand of friendship and support to Mates for Mates and encourage another outstanding community group to appreciate the wonderful facilities as well.

 

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The Mens shed opening

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The Night markets have proved controversial to many residents, tens of thousands of rates dollars have now be seconded to support this project… and whether or not it’s proven successful is equally controversial. Not many I’ve spoken with consider this a viable/valuable use of their rates, especially with the limited residential participation.  It has, as have many other council paid for events proved a popular stage for supporting the Federal and State Liberal members, sadly it doesn’t appear that the other (non-Liberal) members of parliament have been afforded the same courtesy. Even at the opening of the Men’s shed only Liberal MP’s were in attendance and while I’m not 100% sure of the invitation detail, one even claimed ownership over another MP’s electorate.

While it is pleasing that there appears to be renewed business interest in the CBD, and the powermadmayor’s penchant for counting cranes as a measure of success, much of this is due to the present and previous NSW state govt‚Äôs directive to increase housing infill and of Greenfield building has Liverpool abuzz with building activity. My sincere concern that what is being put in place contains contingencies for ongoing maintenance and renewal is secured for the future. Much of the business interest is being attributed to the Badgerys Creek airport announcement a few months ago. ¬†Add to that the increased vehicular activity on our roads from the intermodal where both developments will prove to be a nightmare for residents over the coming years. No genuine consideration has been given to the impacts on the community, our farm lands, our rivers and our future health outcomes above that of the need for the greater community instead of the needs of ours. ¬†The opening of another lane on the M5 last week is no doubt designed to trick the community into thinking the progress is for their benefit, alas the steady increase of trucks on our roads will prove who will be the prime target in coming months and years.

Onto a couple of things we really need to keep an eye on. At the last council meeting of the year a couple of properties were approved for public exhibition from community land to operational land.

While the title seems a little ambiguous the reality is that the Hilda M Davis senior citizens hall  (our most central and one of the largest) could be sold from underneath us….as with some other community lands. What disgusts me most about this is the council’s decision to put these on public exhibition over the holiday period. Notoriously a time when fewer of our residents are paying attention, attention enough to object within the designated period required. I implore you to watch out for this and lodge a complaint or a submission if you, like me think this council should  not be selling the Hilda M or any of our open space while so many of our suburbs are being in-filled with multi story developments and people who will need community centres and space. Most especially deplorable is that it is being done during the holiday period when papers are fewer and fewer people are paying close attention.

Another project that deserves your attention is the proposed changes to the CBD, Bigge park etc. Some of the proposed changes never made it to public exhibition and are quite a concern. One of note is the opening of Macquarie Street to traffic of an evening, changing the commemorative aspect (statue and plaque etc) of Light horse Park into playing fields to name just two. Log onto the Liverpool Listens website and have your say… look at the proposals and make comments, either in support or against them, this will be your only opportunity it seems.

14 different items were discussed and decided upon in confidence at the last council meeting. I found that particularly interesting, as at his first meeting as CEO,  Mr Wolff explained he was not used to matters in confidence being part of a council agenda, seems he’s learned to manage well as I think 14 is a new record. I still believe when it is rates funding that is paying for the spending sprees, the community should be afforded the detail not just a summary at the end. I do of course reserve and preserve individuals privacy but corporations hiding behind sections 10/2 a,b,c etc of the act does not inspire confidence for me.

Lastly and most sincerely, if this coming Christmas/New Year period raises emotional, traumatic or struggling periods for you, please seek help, there are a number of credible and caring services in the community who can help you through the difficult times and you do not have to endure it alone. During the many years I owned LSO, I saw both the fun and friendly and the sad and destructive sides of these holidays and it is essential we keep an eye on each other, offer a listening ear or seek support.

Our community is a good one, sometimes a little self-focused or  even thoughtless to the needs of others, sometimes over the top, but it is a good community and each and every one of you are an intricate and important part of what makes Liverpool great. Together we are simply the best and I’m enormously proud to call Liverpool home.

Thank you for your contribution to my year, thank you for the amazing conversations, the passion and the support. My hope is to return to more regular posts next year, especially in the lead up to the NSW state election. My career change this year has taken time away from my blog, but my passion for Livo remains unchanged and unchallenged. My attendance at forums/meetings etc has  not been affected although my commenting on them has been lessened. (Did I  hear some cheers  along with some of those complaints at my tardiness LOL)

From My family to yours – Merry Christmas to those who celebrate, Happy New year to all and may 2015 bring you and your family much joy, good health, more security and a Greener state Govt.

Below the fabulous Community choir who entertained at the councils end of year bash…

 

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As always if your view differs from mine, I’m more than happy to share it here, so please write back if you’d like to comment.

Sign off


confusion, compassion and just plain cons

October 27, 2014

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)This has been a very interesting week, some sadness, some pride and some unaddressed feelings.

Firstly the sadness, this week saw the passing of one of Australias most memorable, passionate politicians…some loved him and as I’ve been reading some have not, he was however the Politician who ensured we didn’t send more military¬†to Vietnam, believed everyone should be able to access health and education, he believed in doing what is best for the majority¬†and he had a passion for taking care of the little bloke. Something quite lacking in Labor and Liberal of today, who are again sending our young into warzones. Of course I am referring to the Late and great Gough Whitlam, may he rest in piece. For a look at a lovely article my daughter wrote…click here ¬†http://australisincognita.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/vale-gough-whitlam

I have to say I have read some pretty nasty stuff in the past week and I do have to wonder why compassion and understanding are ok for Labor while the Greens deserve none. The Greens put out a message of condolence on Goughs passing, I read it, and agreed with it, I did see the Greens logo at the bottom and to be honest thought nothing of it, not until the hateful comments on the media started describing it as grave robbing and the like….why is it if Labor or Liberals put out a piece that has their logo on it all is ok, but the Greens have to do things without promoting their comments? I am a passionate Green, but I have many friends on the ‘other’ side of politics and I value them deeply, we might not agree on all things but I guess being my friends we have way more in common than we have differences, hence there is no need to attack and disagree, when disagreeing in itself can be informative, enriching and educational. Respect is an important thing especially when agreement isn’t easily found. I also think there is a degree of threat to some of the comments in that many people from both the old parties are seeking political refuge in the Greens because their old party has forgotten what it stood for.

On to other things I attended the MIP meeting (Moorebank Intermodal Project) Saturday. I asked a number of questions as did some others and while there is much to be concerned about there were a couple of things I was pleased with. In fairness not things that will make this monstrosity more environmentally tasteful but at least they were listening…. little things like a public car park for the site so the residents and community can take advantage of the proposed River plantings etc ON the other hand I was very disappointed in much of the information on Traffic and at least consoled by the presenters frankness and honesty. The Georges River didn’t even warrant a mention, no one seems to care that while all the residents are speaking up against the Pollution etc (& rightly so) no one is speaking up for our River, which is not tidal near the intermodal and any overflow, rain or flooding will have the enormity of crap land smack bang into it. Millions have been spent on restoring, cleaning and refreshing the river and with one felled¬†swoop it could all be for nought. ¬†I do encourage anyone and everyone to attend the one meeting left at Hunts Comfort inn on Tuesday night, to go along, ask questions and make submissions. We are all going to be affected by this proposal and the least you can do is check it out.

This week is a¬†Council meeting … 6.30Pm on Wednesday night at the Francis Greenway centre on George Street. The agenda doesn’t look overly exciting. However one item of personal interest is the reintroduction of the ¬†previously ‘forgotten’ selection of community members on the Badgery’s Creek Airport committee…¬†¬†a few meetings ago Cllr Waller suggested that two women who spoke at the council meeting that night should be considered for the task force, while her sentiments were fair should this go ahead the process most certainly won’t be. Several members of the community, myself included, submitted lengthy expressions of interest for this committee, a couple of us (Yes Pauline that’s you) are fairly confident we won’t be selected, there is little chance of someone who is not Liberal leaning being selected with the present majority, however just catapulting people into the committee without having to jump the same hoops as we others did is simply not right. Only time will tell I guess and I know there are others who think this totally inappropriate but will their voices be heard…. I”ll let you know.

For now, I’ll post more once the meeting has been held and as always if you are there come up and say hi, I am being contacted regularly by members of the community who have issues and would like to put some faces with names if you are there.

To finish on a positive congrats to the Council staff working on the projects around town, some are looking pretty good and your efforts are noticeable. I know the present majority will take the credit, but those of us who really see what is happening know who is doing the hard yards…also ¬†a big congrats to the team at the Rose Street depot who are managing and handling the recycling centre. Good stuff !!!! what a terrific initiative and it will be even better when they work out how to handle the new asbestos project. If you’ve not taken some recycling to the new depot, consider it, you don’t even have to get out of your car, simply flip the boot and the council staff will handle it all…

 

More soon …

 

Sign off


Corrections, observations, blatant joy and more:

May 21, 2014

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)I have had a little time since the last post, clearly I expected to be able to bring you good news about the return to appropriate in relation to the Mayoral Minutes, but sadly our¬†self serving majority chose not to return policy to the Mayoral Minutes and our #powermadmayor and his cohorts decided to ‚Äėnote the report‚Äô and do nothing with it. Unfortunately while that is not the outcome I had hoped for or imo appropriate, it should not surprise when only one submission was ¬†received…mine.‚Ķand without significant support the return to Mayoral minutes being used as they should be for items of urgency etc¬† it didn’t happen. While ¬†one should expect our Cllrs would do what is right without having to be ‘encouraged’ by the community,¬†¬†it‚Äôs not like the majority¬†will do the ‚Äėright‚Äô thing without concerted pressure‚Ķ. we must¬†stand united as a community¬†or¬†we have no voice and that saddens and concerns me.

I am however pleased to report that the companies ‚Äėlistening‚Äô to the community at the Building our City programs in the last weeks were actually listening and my rant about the failure to include Liverpool Railway station as a Gateway has been heard and is now I’ve been told, being included as part of the project. As I said at the program, we need to take seriously Train travel as a real alternative with all our roads being already congested especially the M5 and the proposed impacts of the Moorebank intermodal.

The corrections: Wendy Waller was at the Community Cabinet meeting I spoke of previously and like Cllr Harle was unfortunately not recognised by Melanie Gibbons who BTW has been pre-selected as the Liberal candidate for¬†¬†Holsworthy (her second choice when she wasn’t¬†unsuccessful in pre-selection¬†for Miranda) at the next state¬†election. (as was reported in a recent article).
Also Cllr Harle was an apology at the Bringelly event on Building our City and I failed to acknowledge that.

The Market night seems to have been embraced by some, reports back say that around 1500 people braved the cold night and took to the streets. Feedback has been that there could have been more stalls, more variety and more care on food handling but those I’ve spoken to have given it a thumbs up for the entertainment and the ambiance ‚Äď good to see that while I couldn’t spend more than a few minutes observing, a few actually did embrace the event and are actually looking forward to the next.¬† This is a 12 month trial and I do hope that if we‚Äôre spending hard earned rates that many do get out and enjoy these events and they become more than a promotional tool for the #powermadmayor. My¬†hope is to spend more time at the next one in June.

Two questions… the local police attend the community action group meeting, I have a question for you…what kind of information would you be interested in hearing from the local police? Our hard working officers provide a number of information sessions over the year and while preparing for the next they would like to hear from you, what information you’d be interested in hearing…?

Second question, with the proposed airport at Badgerys Creek, what protections would you like to see in place for our environment and our residents? This one is for me as  I raised the point that we want a seat at the table now…not 6 months from now, not somewhere down the track but right now. I have a few ideas but would love to hear from you, to get your thoughts, hopes and aspirations should the airport actually go ahead. While I am against it I am but one voice and I know there are others out there who disagree, but on protecting our city, its people and our environment, we mostly stand together…share with me your ideas.

Now onto the Joy, any of you who get my tweets know I’m almost daily tweeting #I love ICAC I am truly tempted to get a badge made or a t-shirt saying I Love ICAC… while the 3 word slogan will appeal to some, it’s much more important than that. I love politics, I love what can be achieved when good and decent people work together for the community but sadly in this day and age there is little more than contempt for politicians and to be honest I want all the schemers, crooks and cheats out of politics, regardless of the party. We, the people need to get back to the days when we trusted our politicians to do what was/is right for the people as a whole.  I think a version of ICAC (or ICAC itself) should have purview over all levels of government, from council to the feds. That the dead wood be removed, that short cuts and deal making is only used legitimately to achieve outcomes for the community and that anyone caught doing the wrong thing by those who trusted them enough to be elected are removed from the public purse. BTW ICAC is working its way closer to Liverpool, of course I will post anything as it becomes available, in this (link below) a Liverpool Liberal Councillor is mentioned on page 53 … while no detail of the context is mentioned, I’m sure if there is more we’ll hear about it.

http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.icac.nsw.gov.au%2Fcomponent%2Fdocman%2Fdoc_download%2F4345-29-04-2014-operation-credo-spicer-transcript-pp-02696-02753-from-1045am-to-1254pm&ei=UitqU4C4F8SkkQX3moHgAg&usg=AFQjCNGPqSKRVO7tYQIaPawpu6NQfvyg7w&bvm=bv.66111022,d.dGI&cad=rja

 

Lastly I‚Äôd like to chat about the Liverpool Council budget presently on Public exhibition‚Ķ. Please, please take a few minutes or so to have a look at what is proposed‚Ķremember these are your rates and how the council intends spending them, so it is to your benefit to have a read and a comment. This budget is more than a promotional program for the present majority its a road map of our future spending.¬†Remember what is proposed is a guideline, if enough of the community recommends other ideas or priorities the Councillors are required to listen‚Ķ and a submission doesn’t have to be an involved tome¬†and a¬† few lines in an email supporting or not, offering suggestions or locations or simply requesting more detail will suffice. Council officers will gladly answer your questions and provide information as we have been assured at the two community forums they presented to in the last weeks. Hats off to those council staff who presented the program to the community and their answers to the numerous questions asked.

As for the ‚ÄúOTHER‚ÄĚ budget high on the list of conversations at present, it deserves a post of its own, however for the moment there is too much negative involved for me to devote a post to the appalling betrayal Australians have been subjected to‚Ķmost especially those who believed the lies and rhetoric proffered by the present Govt prior to the election. I am especially concerned about the poor, the sick, the unemployed, the disabled, the young, those marginalised by not being the mega rich who will undoubtedly will be the big winners.

Don ‘t forget to nominate a local Police officer in the Police person of the Year, refer my previous post for the nomination form.

The next council meeting is next Wednesday, meeting notes will be posted on the council website Friday afternoon.

That’s if for now, more next week after the council meeting, fingers crossed there is more positive uplifting information to be shared, if you were at the Markets or have information different to mine, please share. More and more people are looking at this page and as many opinions are welcomed.

 

Sign off

 


disillusioned, disgusted and delighted

April 16, 2014

signe-westerberg-headshotsfav-78-of-102-2Where to begin, early Tuesday I was unpleasantly woken by the voice of our #powermadmayor ¬†on ABC radio. He’s on a high now as the Federal Govt is telling us the Badgerys Creek Airport will go ahead. Disillusioned comes from the idea that 54% of the community is considered an overwhelming majority, disgusted comes from the blatant Liberal push to dump all and sundry on the residents of South West Sydney¬†while¬†delighted deserves a paragraph of its own further down ūüôā Disillusioned has now been gazumped by the NSW Premiers admissions¬†or is that¬†omissions¬†and eventual resignation.¬†

So let’s dissect this a little more: on both a National ¬†even State level its pretty easy¬†to make sweeping statements/commitments, especially¬†in the lead up to an election or¬†in the knowledge that your term will not ¬†see them come to fruition, eg the Badgerys Creek Airport.¬†The Abbott govt will likely not see a plane leave or arrive on the proposed Badgerys Creek Airport. At the very earliest it will take 10 or more years for the thing to be built. All the while around 360,000 people will be building their homes in around the proposed airport. My question is… if an¬†Airport¬†¬†is sooooo bad for the residents around Mascot, how is building another one in the heart of a new residential area going to be better? We should also ¬†brace ourselves to the fact this will be a freight / secondary airport where 24 hours a day 7 days a week freight will be landing and transported ( by truck) to the Intermodal at Moorebank and surrounds for distribution, again by truck. My next questions is : Where is the EIS… a new updated¬†one, not one geared to reflect the need¬†to dump an airport where ever the mood strikes ¬†…in this case Liverpool? I’ve since heard they may just use the old EIS¬†:-(…This article from the Sydney Morning herald may shine a light on some of your questions: ¬†www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/is-a-new-airport-at-badgerys-creek-really-needed-20140415-zquyy.html¬†Did you know ¬†China managed to build an island to accommodate their new airport, did we as a nation even look at¬†the¬†options? Or are we as always looking for the fastest, cheapest oft nastiest option? This to me is pretty much like the intermodal, we need a seat at the table NOW and we need to be listened too…. both our Rivers are now genuinely under threat of damage due to the enormous affect ¬†both these monstrosities will¬†¬†potentially reek havoc on. I am hopeful that if this airport really does go ahead that we get a genuine voice at the table in the early stages, that we get to actually look after our environment and our people and that the political will ( and I mean we being parties of all colour, those who support it, those against it) and¬†people¬†like me that want it done well, should we be lumbered with it. I am hearing that this could¬†be the most environmentally friendly airport ever built I don’t want to just hear the rhetoric I want to help ensure it is…not unlike the Moorebank Intermodal. This proposed airport is being built within cooee another ¬†river, right in the middle of a residential area and nooooo one is going to be affected ….nooooo one at all just ask the government, I am hearing only 4000 people will be affected, tell that to the ¬†360000 residents in the coming years.¬†I hate being a skeptic but I do worry about the ¬†PPP’s ( private / public partnerships), personally I think there’s a “P” missing = Public purse into private pockets sounds more the reality to me.

The next BIG ¬†question is who’s going to pay for it…well if you read the other announcements, whispers and guesses, looks like it might be pensioners, the unemployed and single parents. I hear the present treasurer saying we have to live within our means, and as it stands 98% of the people I know most certainly already do, well within their means oft to the point of struggling, but according to this government most of these same people don’t fit into the “women of calibre’ catagory and wont’ be the recipients of the $75,000 baby support bonus. Is this balanced and fair accounting?

How quickly things change: So here we are today, Wednesday, the day Barry O’Farrell resigned as Premier of NSW over a bottle of Grange, ok it’s one pretty hefty bottle when you consider its value was $3,000 – ¬†I have to admit it must be interesting on that higher plane, when a $3000 gift not even worthy of a memory however one has to ask, is this the tip of a pretty ugly iceberg, are we about to be shown the depths to which some politicians will stoop ? It is no wonder the people of NSW are totally over politics, hell the whole nation is over corrupt politics, will it ever end? The checks and balances seem to have become cheques and balancing and to its credit the ICAC is doing what it is there for, outing the corrupt and protecting the innocent.

My concern is are we looking at a series of regrets or simply regrets at being caught? It is already¬†being touted that Gladys Berejilkian is one of the main contenders as the new Premier, are we seeing history repeating itself, wasn’t it Kristina Keneally who was the sacrificial lamb when all went south in the Labor party? ¬†Seems we women are expendable and suitable when heading south is all there is left¬†for either of the old parties, so come on down Gladys.¬†Personally I have no passion for Ms Berejilkian as a politician but that aside is it fair that the women who support the governments of¬†the day are¬†readily planted in leadership when disaster is imminent? Only time will tell I guess and I’ve just heard the decision will be made Thursday¬†(tomorrow)

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/barry-ofarrell-resigns-mike-baird-and-gladys-berejiklian-leading-contenders-to-be-next-nsw-premier-20140416-36r1r.html

I was happy to see John Kaye Greens ¬†MLC ¬†call for all the ICAC recommendations to be installed instead of the single one Mr O’Farrell thought necessary.

http://livenews.abc.net.au/Event/Barry_OFarrell_resigns_as_New_South_Wales_premier/113417850

With only 11 months until the next state election its time every one came clean, corruption in our politics was a thing of the past and people could once again rely on their elected representatives to actually represent the people who elect them not merely represent the biggest business or donor.

Onto delighted, Sadly politics will take a while to change but I am heartened by events more local. Last week I attended the Rural forum where the Local Inspector discussed issues of import to residents, then Green Valley Police safety program at the Catholic Club, on Monday I attended the 2168 meeting, as did the same police,¬† after which ¬†I saw the same ¬†local officers¬†interacting with locals in the Miller shopping centre. ¬†I am delighted to see the positive interactions and engagement of the local police, the successful programs they run in the community, whether to engage local youth or in their everyday tasks. To that end I commend to you that it is time to put forward nominations for the police officer of the year and urge the community to share the successes of a particular officer so they get the recognition they deserve. Its easy to ¬†knock but its even better to have a positive but what better time to nominate one worthy police officer … I’ll attach the nomination for soon, so please take the time.

Lets hope there is some positive news in the very near future, all this negativity is exhausting, it boils down to expect more and fingers crossed you’ll get it.

Well that’s my take on some of the recent events, as always if your opinion differs let me know I’m happy to post it here.

 

Sign off

 


I’m back

October 9, 2013

Signe Westerberg Headshots (38 of 102)I know I promised to be more regular with my writing, I know I said I wanted to write positive things and I know many of you are happy with your choices, but seriously do you know what your choice has and is doing?

Firstly why not writing: easy, I don’t want this to be a naysayers blog and wait, secondly, there is little positive to write and thirdly It‚Äôs time you paid ¬†attention… seriously.

I did attend the last council meeting; I watched in awe or was that aghast as the pre-written pre approved events unfolded. While many of you think you live in a democratic Liverpool, just as many of you are wrong. Liverpool is being led by the nose anywhere the mayor or his minders want us led. Don’t get me wrong, whoever is calling the shots is at least writing the words to go with them, because reality has it either no one is capable or worse still no one is allowed. I watched as we were hoodwinked into the sale of more parks, by callously clever people who chose not to indicate the name of a park but chose its street address to avoid the community dissent that reared its head last time they tried to sell it. But alas doing so around an election time is clever, I simply didn’t have the time to examine closely what was being put before us, nor it seems did those who rallied last time. 28 days seems like a reasonable time to garner community view, but timing is everything and from what I am seeing, the next round of selling off our public space will fall around about Christmas and the weeks leading up to it or immediately thereafter. ¬†There will be some happy business people in Moorebank who simply had to wait for council to render them a new parking space at the expense of students and residents, but hey the students don’t pay rates and the residents by and large aren’t paying attention… and no that is not a good enough reason to screw them over, our council was elected to represent them not stick it to them. My opinion only but again how many of you are paying attention.

At this time of year I genuinely watch closely as to who will be your Councillor rep on the committees of council… I do so for two reasons, some Councillors in the past actually achieve things on those committees and two, well more than 50% of the time said Councillors fail to show up. I know I’ve said all this before… but wait there’s more……..this time a well scripted Cllr Balloot showed up with a pre ordained version of who should be on committees and clearly who should not, and having the majority got to royally screw Labor over in the process…¬†and as an irony few will appreciate they screwed over Cllr Harle as well. See of all the Councillors Cllr Harle does actually show up, he attends and participates. So any committee it appeared they couldn’t find a Liberal mildly interested in was shot over to Cllr Harle, pay back I guess for being on their side much of the time (sarcasm). I even asked his wife on the way out if she has a picture of him for the fridge as she won’t be seeing much of him from now on. For committees by and large they aren’t an engaged lot.

The question is who organised this shafting of Labor, I have no doubt the Liberal majority wanted it to happen but have grave concerns any of them were suitably talented to orchestrate it, so is this what the Policy Advisor does? Was there a caucus? Is this how our staff is being used? ¬†So many questions, so few answers….

Another interesting out come was the reelection of the Deputy Mayor Mazhar Hadid…not the norm, but hey what is?

When you have sat through as many council meetings as I have, btw no Councillor has sat through as many as I have, and watched the behaviour of the mob, it was disappointing to watch as Labor genuinely got hammered publicly and without grace. Even their protestations were ignored, any sense of reason refuted and the representation of almost half of the voters stymied. Well as it seems even those who could be considered – supporters – are now feeling the angst. Especially those who live in our Rural area who listen to shows on commercial TV when the Mayor decides that not only is an airport good for them but let‚Äôs throw in the intermodal as well. But in fairness, there are only a few thousand votes in Rural Liverpool at the moment compared to the several thousand in Wattlegrove. Reasonable when you listen to the PM trying to justify an expenses rort by saying he’d not bothered to campaign in Port Macquarie as there were too few votes in it in the first place.¬† Where the head leads the tail follows I suppose…

Another clever ploy is to merge committees, this time it was the Environmental Advisory Committee (you pay a levy for this one to mind your environment and waterways) and the Heritage committee. Could someone please explain to me how that will work? ¬†I am on the EAC as your rep and have been so for quite some time, and while I love our history ¬†am I in anyway qualified to represent it… I think not, especially when there are others who are genuinely more capable to do so. But this is now a one councillor suits all so that eliminated another for Cllr Harle…oops..He‚Äôs on the EAC… problem solved.

Ok that’s a couple of items from the council meeting, there are more and you should check them out. In some ways they have achieved their goal, even I don’t bother to comment or make a submission as often,  as the last time I did, I wrote about Cllr Hadchiti’s comments about ignoring the submissions. This is temporary though as I am genuinely concerned about our city and will be heard, even if then to be ignored I will share my views and those of the people I speak with regularly.

I was also the community representative on the previous CBD committee and now attend as an observer to the economics committee… and it hasn’t taken long for many of the members to fail to show up, including some councillors. The thing I‚Äôm finding the most interesting is that when the previous CBD committee came up with an idea or solution to something it took months and months and months to come to fruition if at all. With all the checks and balances, all the excuses why things took so long, and now so much is rubber stamped I am beginning to doubt the support we were getting from the GM and maybe even some of his staff. Whilst for the most part the staff are truly diligent and supportive, everything took forever, we constantly heard that the wheels of govt, even local govt, ¬†turned ever so slowly….

So what has changed? The previous Mayor/committee got little support from the GM who was constantly highlighting road blocks in the way of ideas and outcomes, but now everything has changed, things are happening faster. This raises some real concerns for me, because the CEO/GM is employed for a number of reasons, one of which is enabling the decisions of Councillors Now we have a Liberal majority is he more compliant, is he more amenable ‚Äď WHAT? Changes to the parking are happening, ¬†soon there will be a markets night in the CBD, little things and some big and some quite good, but why aren’t there the delays the previous council/committee experienced over and over again. I am not really expecting an answer on this it‚Äôs just my opinion and observation…. that said he wasn’t in attendance today so even if I wanted to ask I couldn’t have, ironically of those elected to the committee or invited I‚Äôd say only about 50% were there anyway, numbers are already falling, perhaps because of the date change but who knows. Today‚Äôs speakers were very interesting, ¬†both UWS (Andy Marks) and Western Sydney First Program (NSW Business chamber) David Borger shared some interesting plans and ideas. Sadly the latter is very keen on the Airport in Badgery‚Äôs Creek so I am truly hopeful the proposed consultation genuinely takes place and the people most affected really do get a voice.

Finally  if you noted all the council meetings when they were advertised at the beginning of the year, check again, another has been changed and you might need to organise another night.

Please remember I will post your comment if you want to send it in…. I am not always right and happy to share your view.

happy week….

Sign off