October 14, 2016

Don’s Dynamite: Awaking from the Slumber

UPDATE – 17 October 2016

It’s been a little while since this issue arose and everyone including the poor old traumatised ratepayers have been waiting expectantly for the issue to move on. As usual, things in Council with do not move with alacrity, put another way they move at the speed of a startled snail.

The calls for the Council Advisor’s report to be made public also apparently fell on deaf ears or even slower moving snails.

So like the CCC issue and the report being made public which both appear to have died a natural death, the rather verbose councillor and his mates have all gone quiet – maybe they are all tired of having their tails kicked. A lesson learned the hard way.

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Headlining the Saturday edition [01/10/16] of that fearless defender of the rate payer’s rights [Yes the Fraser Coast Chronicle] was a story under the banner “Govt Extends the Council Advisor’s Stay”.

The current advisor and his predecessor were apparently appointed after the Member for Maryborough made public calls to the Minister for Local Government in relation to the state of the council which had been described as being dysfunctional.

While the supervision goes on, there is movement at Tavistock Towers. The corpse is showing signs of life and as to the proof – it has now been reported in the FCC that the Mayor has reported to the CCC [corruption watchdog for those who are not up to date with the acronym] certain anomalies.

While time will tell whether or not there is any substance to the matters reported to the corruption watchdog, at least we can all conclude with a fair degree of certainty that the Mayor is actually having a go at trying to fix up the issues, if they do in fact exist. The take away from this is that the Mayor at least appears to have the interests of the ratepayers at heart – what a novel approach.

One councillor attempted to take the Mayor to task for having his actions reported in the FCC. Apparently, the airing of the so-called anomalies would not be a positive for the region. The councillor’s ramblings on Facebook drew a little fire for the councillor.

One respondent to the Facebook ramblings appropriately described them as “how to write a page about nothing”. Looked a little to me like the councillor was more interested in appearing to be clever than really having the interests of the ratepayers at heart.

The Mayor was quite right to report his actions to the media. No doubt the councillor would have had the opportunity to complain at a later date as to the non-disclosure of the Mayor had the Mayor not taken the action which is now of concern to the councillor.

The councillor has obviously failed to appreciate that what the ratepayers really want is transparency and honesty in government (including local government). All ratepayers should support the Mayor because we all need to have confidence in our political system.

The corruption watchdog is there to root out the malevolent and dishonest – that’s its reason for being.

If the councillor was arguing that we should not have retrospective investigations [it was reported that some of the anomalies go back a long way] then has he forgotten the good that came from the Fitzgerald Inquiry or the good that will hopefully come from the current inquiry into sexual abuse.

Ratepayers can only hope that the ramblings of the councillor are either curtailed or he sees the light and listens to the ratepayers.