8 more sleeps

September 2, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)WOW…the time is going so fast. Only a little over a week to go in this election campaign and I cannot tell you how delighted I am to be in such a  privileged position as to be able to speak with residents each and every day. I can tell you how proud I am of the amazing team we are putting forward in this election. Each and every one of them would be a wonderful addition to Liverpool Council and its a priviledge to work alongside them.

Wednesday night was the final council meeting for this term, a good deal of time was spent electioneering for the 7 councillors who are seeking your vote again, a few good byes and a whole lot of ….leave it to the next lot. So it’s official, not only have they left the next term of councillors a pretty crap budget, undetermined asbestos problems, staff morale at an all time low  but this week they decided to leave a number of items  to the next group. Seriously while I am always the first and often the only voice calling for due diligence, holy crap a donation to Macedonia and Italy in their time of need was not that big a call. Over the past 8 years some councillors shuffled enormous amounts of money for all and sundry and not all as deserving.

The big winner of the night was when in the departing Mayor admitted he’d not been able to work with everyone. Well that was an understatement but at least an acknowledgement I guess. Cllr Ristevski  didn’t waste an opportunity to put in a final dagger or two before he was  missed off the ‘I’ve enjoyed working with you’ list of the Mayor. The whole Propel issues lives on, with the independent report being handed on to ICAC, another of the deferred decisions for the next council. Importantly most of the candidates seeking your vote will have no clue about the issues that have been on and off the agenda for so long other than what they’ve heard in the press. Today we’ve made the news yet again and the comparison between this disaster of a council and the one who had us put into administration had best not be the comparison used in the future because some of us actually know and have seen the happenings of this bunch.

Alas those seeking your vote who have been on council should be scrutinised quite aggressively, what have they actually contributed to the council over their tenure as councillors. If elected to council I will work to ensure that all voting information will be made publically available. Calling oneself independent doesn’t  necessarily mean candidates aren’t aligned. While Greens are sometimes seen in agreement of ALP policy we are not bound in any way to following blindly, our whole remit is to assess each piece of information on its own merit, we vote according to what is in the best interests of the whole community and stand proudly by our reputation to do exactly that when a matter is not in the line with our core beliefs.  (I will print them below so you can see the tenets by which our decisions are made) Council should be about caring for the community, creating services to fill the needs of that community and reduce costs wherever possible.  During the meeting our #powermadmayor (for not long now)  took to highlighting some of the issues in the budget, minus a detail or two  and taking credit for changes that he and his cohorts actually  obstructed which meant many of those projects were actually delayed in the first term.

There will be issues that need to be addressed by the new council, firstly there will have to be very close scrutiny of some of the budget decisions, a very, very close look at the Propel agreement and investigation into same and a serious discussion about the number of jobs that have been outsourced to consultants. Planning issues are a big part of any council and we will need to see what can be done to ensure social and affordable housing options can be set up to ensure our city’s homeless numbers reduce,not grow. Especially important will be to ensure that the community is privy to the actions and decisions of council. Transparency has not been the strong suit of this particular term. Council can and should be the first point of call for citizens needing advice about planning, the go to place for questions and a source of information in relation to many social issues, even those they cannot be directly responsible for, many don’t realise the lobbying ability of council and this needs to be explored. The days need to come to an end where the local member is only heard from in parliament when he/she can bash the council for poor decisions. More soon….

Sign off

 

 

 

 

Ecological sustainability | Social equality and economic justice

| Grassroots democracy | Peace, nonviolence and disarmament

LASTLY. If you have some spare time anytime next week or on Saturday the 10th we are still looking for people to help us hand out at Pre-Poll and on Election day. We will provide a light lunch and a T-shirt just give me a call or email me at swesterberg@iinet.net.au.

Liverpool HTV 2016

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Greens Noms lodged…

August 8, 2016

Signe Westerberg HeadshotsFAV  (78 of 102)The full announcement of our Council team  and the Fairfield council team is only days away, I am so excited that we’ve reached the council elections as many of you who read my posts regularly will know I think we can do better than what we’ve had in the past.

Having had a few more important issues over the last few days I’m not in any real position to advise who is running for the other parties, who is running as an independent etc etc. I am sure we will see some of the same old faces that election times brings forward and I am hopeful there are some new faces as well. What I am most delighted by is the people we greens have gathered together and their amazing passion for all things local.

 

That said…..Come Wednesday this week all will be revealed so watch this space.

 

Sign off


Where there is smoke, is there fire?

July 31, 2016

Signe 2016 outdoorsI started this blog about a week ago, clearly with upcoming elections for council I and my colleagues have been focusing on bringing you the Liverpool community the best possible team for September 10th.

The following two paragraphs are what I wrote back then, they are still relevant so I will leave them for your informaton

Many will be aware that recently Liverpool has found its way back into the press. Regrettably it’s not for the good reasons AGAIN. Our #powermadmayor seems to have invited ICAC in… I’ve asked around and from what I can understand that’s not quite how that works. Over the last 4 years numerous letters have been sent to ICAC I’ve even made reports myself based on what I’ve seen and I’ve had back a response and that in no way indicated they were waiting on an invitation from the Mayor. Plus according to the news reports I’ve read, if you were invited in, why did they raid the office, force entry etc.?

While I am not privy to the workings or goings on of the #powermadmayor and his cohorts it’s not brain surgery to note that at some point throughout his entire term as Mayor he has at one time or another been at odds with his own Liberal party members, with the possible exception of Mr Balloot, I actually don’t recall a time when he wasn’t singing the praise of the #powermadmayor but as a non resident imo  I think his tenure is too shaky to create too many waves. That cannot be said of Councillor Ristevski, seems he likes the waves and is determined to highlight what I can only assume is more detailed information than those of us in the gallery are privy to. I do hope it is a genuine need to highlight misdeeds or inaccuracies not just self promotion in the lead up to the council elections.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/knives-out-for-mayors-as-preselection-battles-heat-up-20160722-gqbxaq.html

 

As  I said above this is just as relevant today, however in the meantime we have had a council meeting and a grand opening. The council meeting had a fair bit of grandstanding by Cllr Hadid, he on a number of occasions waved around a piece of paper calling for the figures paid out to two sacked/dismissed/left CEO’s. The irony for me was that he was calling for THEIR decisions to be made public, inferring he was not party to those same decisions. Alas, that is not true the Liberal majority of which he is a key player signed off on both terminations and I can only assume that of the latest executive position where I understand the payout was in the vicinity of $175K. In that case the position being ‘made up’ in the first place sure got a nice pay off according to some staff members who are livid and who also saw the same executive member handing out for the Liberal party at the recent Federal election. I am not suggesting any wrong doing, what staff do in their own time is entirely their prerogative I support that 100% however the question asked of me why was this person’s job created in the first place and if so why such a hefty payout if it was no longer required? I don’t have answers i’m afraid if I do I will share.

There was an attempt to overturn some of the decisions made at the previous council meeting in relation to the budget. I have to say in my view the whole representation of this budget has been nightmarish and if we had better transparency in Liverpool especially in line with what happens with our rates dollars many of us would feel much more confident. I do think the next  bunch of councillors will be faced with a whole bunch of financial issues they are not expecting, however if they aren’t involved now and aren’t seeing what is happening I guess that’s just bad luck. This of course goes back to my oft touted line of careful who you vote for, especially if they only raise their heads at election time. I would like to see so much more clarity on decisions being made with our rates money. I was not (I either missed it or it was discussed in confidence) aware that council had sold the site presently being used by the Men’s Shed, after so much work and money had been put into setting it up, I would have spoken against it or ensured the funding was organised to accommodate a move. Better still I wouldn’t have approved that site in the first place and found the Mens shed a permanent location from the get go.

It is election time, much is going to be bandied about regarding this election, the one thing  I want from our next set of councillors is to have more information made public. Hiding behind in confidence matters in Liverpool has gotten out of  control in my view. If a company is in dealings with our rates money and the same company has to declare the dealings with their shareholders, WHY ARE WE NOT BEING ABLE TO SEE WHAT IS GOING ON?

Yesterday I attended the opening of the Carnes Hill recreational/Library facility. I would like to say a big thank you to the many many staff who over many many years have worked on this venue. While the present Liberal councillors will gladly accept the accolades it was in fact on the drawing board for many years, $40M worth of investment doesn’t happen overnight and people like Paul Scully, Albert Galletta and the 100s of staff who have worked on this facility over such a long time deserve congratulations. It was interesting that the police were required to handle the pedestrian traffic yesterday, the irony there was they actually wrote a submission against the location for the exact same reasons they were working for hours yesterday managing foot traffic on what  is now a major road extension.  I was also aghast to hear the #powermadmayor made promises yesterday that he would ensure a pool was added to the rec centre if he is re-elected… where is all this money coming from, we have debt in the vicinity of $40M we have an unknown debt for the removal remediation of asbestos that could reach $20M and our rates are already rising. Then of course there is the proposed new civic centre costs, the Bigge park plans and so much more. Did it rain money recently and I had my umbrella up the wrong way???? More on this when I hear more.

It was lovely to see some of our previous staff in attendance to check out the finished project. It would also be remiss of me not to mention the many staff who were in attendance yesterday. For the record, my grandson gives the new skate park a BIG thumbs up. It was lovely to see so many people checking out the new facility and I’ve taken a bunch of pictures I’ll share with you below.  The skate park does feature but I am a Grandmother and one of the scooterers is a special favourite of mine.

Happy snaps from the Carnes Hill Rec Centre/Library opening

Happy snaps from the Carnes Hill Rec Centre/Library opening

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I need to go and get ready for National Tree day, I hope I get to see your there. Of course there was more to the council meeting and when I get an opportunity I will share with you, if you are interested the actual meeting notes will be available on the council website. You won’t get the joy of detail concerning Cllr Hadids outbursts, or the wrangling and to and fro of Cllr Ristevski’s interactions with the #powermadmayor or the CFO. You won’t see the one time I actually agreed with Cllr Hadchiti, ftr I am against this whole new trend of all Cllrs having to pay for their travel/attendance at functions directly related to their job as councillors, this will greatly affect anyone who puts their hand up in the community to represent the ratepayers who is not independently financial enough to pay airfares etc. This imo will mean only the wealthy will be able to represent Liverpool and the around $23,000 they receive for being councillors is not why one puts their hand up in the first place. I will cover this more at a later time.

 

Looks like I’ll be running late for National Tree day so I’ll sign off for now. See you there 🙂

 

Sign off

These views are my own based on what I’ve seen and heard, if you see things differently please share, the more the merrier I say.


One week later

July 8, 2016

Signe Westerberg HeadshotsFAV  (78 of 102)Here we are almost a week after the close of voting and we’re only just getting notice that the Turnbull LNP is likely being returned with a huge loss in their majority. (YAY) This would normally create feelings of dread in me, however looking at the parliament that the people elected,  I truly can’t see him coping for too long and back to the polls we’ll go. Time will tell.

I will briefly note the exceptional assistance of my team of volunteers who worked diligently and constantly in the lead up to the election and on election day. We had an increase in our vote for which I am delighted. Sadly here in the South West of Sydney Federal elections are more an avenue by which we raise our profile than to genuinely expect to be elected… YET!!!  Our day will come and the people of Werriwa and surrounds are definitely learning more and more about our policies and acknowledging our passion. Congrats to Anne Stanley for securing the Labor win, the alternative was simply untenable.imo.

Now we’re set ready to focus on the local council elections, in 9 weeks time the residents of Liverpool, Fairfield and Campbelltown will head to the polls again to elect their councillors and in Liverpool their Mayor. Please, can we do better this time, the #powermadmayor we’ve endured for the last 4 years has taken credit for everything but the weather and seems to have completely ignored the processes by which things actually happen in council or the hundreds of people who insure things actually happen. He has also managed to not mention he and his cohorts were directly obstructionist in the previous council and while taking credit for everything now, fails to acknowledge much of what is happening in Liverpool has been on the drawing board for quite some time, long before this Mayors ‘reign’..

As many of you who read this blog know, I have been a constant attendee at council and on many committees and I’ve watched the divisiveness in which this #powermadmayor and his cohorts have worked, during the time on council they have not only managed to alienate the opposition councillors but many of their own. A quick recall pretty much has me thinking at some point during the last 8 years the Liberal majority  has at some point been at war not only with Labor but at times pretty much with everyone on their own side, the possible exception being  Cllr Balloot, however as he doesn’t reside here I guess his compliance has been a given.

I’ve not done a real run down on the last council meeting, however the farce continues as did the campaigning, as it will until September. The new group of councillors elected in September will be surprised to find that the balanced budget they are being sold now is somewhat more complicated than it appears. In an attempt to highlight some of the misinformation and discrepancies, Cllr Shelton may have taken some unwilling prisoners… however a rescission motion here and there will probably address any unfairness. I do support his cost cutting on many things however The Men’s shed is a personal addition to council that I’ve supported long term. This week’s local paper advised that the $500,000 for relocation of the men’s shed might be at risk. I have to admit I don’t recall when we supported the sale of the property they are presently using, let alone the need for a complete relocation. That said much has been snuck through this council, much to much has been done under the cover of confidentiality and confidence.

As many of you are aware Fairfield Liverpool Greens generally host a full team of candidates and as such we would  pledge that if elected we would address this unsavory need for secrets and lack of transparency. We would  also fight what I believe will be the inevitable attack by the NSW Premier to attack the democracy around council autonomy… it is my opinion LCC will be amongst those on his next hit list.

If you believe as I do that council is  important and our representation needs to be transparent and community focused, please consider getting on board and helping us out at the council election. We will need your help on Polling day and in the lead up and with your help real change can happen and if you think as I do that nothing will improve in relation to the Libs working effectively with Labor, Ensuring Greens are in the mix of elected councillors. ensures our city and our environment will be the priority, not the furthering of the ego of the present #powermadmayor. Don’t get me wrong, this will not be an easy council to work with however how you vote will decide the makeup of the council, so consider carefully where your vote goes, your rates, your waste fees and all your local services are approved or not approved by the councillors you elect…so please choose carefully, choose a balanced passionate group of people who can and will work together for your benefit, not their own. Also be aware of those people in our community who only raise their heads at election time, they do almost nought for you and our city between elections but raise their heads seeking your vote. You deserve better and as someone who’s been here since we came out of administration… you should expect more!

 

More shortly, have a good weekend.

 

Sign off


its official I’m psychic LOL

April 30, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)How funny, so much of what I predicted for the council meeting came to fruition, the tit-for-tat between Cllrs Mamone and Hadchiti, the lack-of-lib-love with Cllrs Ristevski and Mannoun. The wannabe Mayoral Jaunt was declined by all, even my comment regarding amalgamations was reiterated by the Mayor. The Budget was to be put on public exhibition and I can’t urge you enough to take the time to have a close look. A good hour was spent on Cllr Ristevski’s attempt to highlight some of the problems associated. Sadly, as  is often his form, he failed to find genuine arguments and it became another battle of the egoes.  The asbestos issue has put some incredible pressure on the budget, in the order of $5M and while I could ponder for hours at why we didn’t have some kind of protection/insurance to protect us from this kind of disaster the real issue now is to find a way to ensure we don’t leave ourselves further and further behind the eight ball and looking to the residents for even more money. While I think Cllr Ristevski started on a right track, his failure to research, investigate and then articulate his ideas left many wondering what the hell was or could be achieved.

Potentially we have less than a month to come up with ideas that will reduce our budget to allow savings that will not leave us in a precarious position and at risk of proving even less fit for the future than was originally thought. Initially my thoughts go along the lines of “last on first off” as expenses go, this might mean leaving some of the #powermadmayors wish list projects for when our budget is capable of handling the expense not so he can claim success for electioneering purposes. The whole budget debate will have us attending an extraordinary  meeting on the 4th of May devoted solely to the budget and the draft delivery and operational plan. In the past there have been only a few of us who have made submissions in relation to the budget and how our rates should be used. This time it could prove even more important and may mean that a potential rate increase (yes another one) could be an unwanted outcome from poor management in the past. That said if this Councillor executive had made different, even better choices in relation to their CEO appointments, or found more efficient ways to work with the ones they chose, we might have been looking for even less based on the touted $M payouts we’ve been forced to fork out. I am still to go through the budget documents provided at the meeting and based on what might prove significant changes it will certainly ensure I attend whatever information events the CFO decides to provide. This is generally provided through the local community forums and I urge you to consider attending and do as I do, ask a lot of questions.

Once I get to the point where I can put forward a submission, I will do as I’ve done in the past and post it here.  In the mean time, I’ll attend the meeting on Wednesday, absorb as much information as possible and then get my head down and try and make sense of it all. Not being an accountant would normally be my complaint/ concern however considering Cllr Ristevski is and his failure to do what was needed to articulate a clear path forward, I will deal with my lack of educated account knowledge and rely on my business management history and hope for the best.

As always more when I know more and if you’ve got additional information or a differing view please share it here.

On a more pleasant note I as the community rep on the Georges River combined council committee was delighted by the speakers who presented to our meeting last night. Finding out more about the Holsworthy Military area and all its hidden treasures was a true delight as was the presentation by the Werribee environmental area volunteer group reinforces the value of our council’s participation in this group and the immeasurable contribution to protecting the Georges River corridor.

 

til next time ………

Sign off

 

 


Council Meeting tomorrow night, more of the same

March 29, 2016

Signe 2016 outdoorsTomorrow night’s council meeting while being held at a the Bringelly Hall, a Rural venue, brings nothing new, sadly nothing new in the way of councillor behaviour that is. (On a side issue it will be interesting to see councillors out in the rural area, so few of them actually attend anything out ‘that far’ I’m guessing a lot of google maps/navman will be enlisted for the majority who  scarcely know it exists.)

I wrote some years ago  at the appalling manner in which the then Liberal majority of councillors were treating the then mayor Wendy Waller and how they were removing her as spokesperson for the people of Liverpool. I was disgusted then and am again, while some of what is being put forward is valid and necessary, ie removing the Mayor’s picture from everything, limiting his personal public exposure and opening up some items to represent the councillors as a whole, I do not agree with removing the role of Mayor as spokesperson. Why? Because like it or not, the majority of Liverpudlians voted this particular #powermadmayor into the role and it isn’t up to the councillors to remove that decision. That’s why we vote, democracy in its many flawed ways allows the majority of people to have their say, that’s how councillors get elected and in Liverpool that is how the Mayor is elected. I supported this then and support it now, the people of Liverpool chose to have a popularly elected mayor and compared to the rotating chair, who’s turn is it now, option undertaken by other councils it is the one I prefer. This popularly elected Mayor-dom is something I support, even when I don’t support the person elected to that role.

Sadly this proposal is imo yet another way Cllr Ristevski is taking his personal disdain/distrust/dislike for the #powermadmayor Mannoun to a new level, in that he is politicising himself as a means to depoliticise the present Mayor, another ugly use of council resources to self publicise and raise one’s own profile.. This is not on. I also question why WESROC delegation is being brought up on the agenda when our delegations to Committees etc is usually decided in Sept/October, after the election of New councillors or the anniversary of the election previously. I will go back and read the finer detail of that particular item to see if this too is another politically motivated item. With an election scheduled for 10/9/16 I can only imagine much more of this will be the case over the coming months  and it is my sincere hope that this Secrecy Council (11 items in confidence this week alone) is replaced with one intent on keeping the community informed not kept in the dark.

There are a few IHAP issues and a number of different subjects on the agenda however I am saddened that community  submissions relating to some important issues were not forthcoming on the Graffiti Strategy and the Tree strategy. While I’ve been focusing on a family member’s health issue no submissions were received on the Graffiti and only 1 on the Trees strategy, these are ones I would normally ensure I engaged. These and other issues are important to our environment and our community and it distresses me more people don’t take the time to review and comment. Liverpool Listens is opening up another avenue for discussion on some subjects however not all get posted to the online discussion paper from what I can see.

I will tweet from the meetings as always tomorrow night, however if you aren’t on Twitter, you can see  what I write/what is happening during the meeting on this page, on the right hand side the column lists everything I’m tweeting or posting on my facebook etc… so you don’t have to be connected to everything to see what is happening, it’s all available right here.

Until tomorrow….

 

Sign off


Gone, gone and gone

March 21, 2016

Signe Westerberg Headshots FAV (26 of 102)Liverpool council extraordinary meeting tonight confirmed that the CEO Carl Wulff has entered into an agreement to terminate his employment, he hasn’t been sacked but he is most certainly no longer going to be the CEO for Liverpool. Michael Cullen has been installed as the acting CEO for a period of up to 12 months while the councillors endeavour to find a permanent replacement.

Scary yes, as I’ve mentioned before as this majority have made 3 lousy choices already,  are we to keep our fingers crossed and hope they get it right the 4th time…?

I like many have personal views as to the choices they’ve made and why but like the past we will not be privvy to the actual details, just rest assured we will not come out of this cheaply, we certainly didn’t with Portelli and we won’t with Wulff. Your Rates again and you just won’t know how much.

As I have said before, the worst of this is that for the first time we’ve seen resident against resident and that I lay directly on the nature of this #powermadmayor and his cohorts. I live in hope that the rifts can be repaired and the residents of Liverpool rise above the power struggle that has seen this occur in our city.

What I am pleased about is that this should at least for now, put this matter to bed and we can get on with other things affecting our community and with the now likely Federal election there is much to be discussed.

In Liverpool (Werriwa particularly) we will have a great opportunity to really make some changes that will positively work for our residents. With the retirement of Laurie Ferguson all the candidates will be new. Labor has put forward Anne Stanley, I am representing the Greens and I imagine it won’t take long for the Liberals to put forward their candidate… none have held a role in Parliament before so the community can start fresh. No incumbant, no party loyalty its time for real change.

One thing that is clear (and I am politicking here) is voting for either of the two old parties ensures one thing, if you vote Liberal they will most certainly ‘accept’ the mandate to sell off everything left, although not much, Medicare will be scuttled, refugees will be left languishing, kids in schools won’t be as safe as they should be and as you’ve seen on 38% of the discussions had in the senate in Parliament to date Labor agrees, they may dress it up a little but nothing much will change.

I am excited that in Werriwa and Fowler the Greens  (actually across the country) our policies will finally be on show so genuine change and positive outcomes can be reached for all our residents not just those at the top.

Exciting times ahead and I’m delighted that we can (hopefully) let Liverpool Council get on with the job of Rates Roads and Rubbish and when the time comes vote in people who won’t put their political aspirations above our needs.

Til next time….

 

Sign off