May 13, 2016

Don’s Dynamite – Business as usual at Tavistock Towers

In my last outing I bemoaned the fact that the outcome of the recent Council elections was either a matter of ‘we get the representatives we deserve’ or ‘the more things change, the more they remain the same’.

Well, disappointment is one of those sentiments which we all have to handle from time to time. Then, on the other hand, the possibility of being correct in predicting a particular outcome is not necessarily a reason to gloat.

Good things are said to come in 3’s.

So what have our newly elected representatives been up to?

First – news broke that the newly elected representatives were heading off to the Bunya Mountains for a bonding [read love-in] session.

No one wanted to take ownership of the decision, particularly when it came to the attention of the ratepayers. One Councillor did indicate that he saw no reason why the Councillors should travel to a tourist destination away from Hervey Bay when there was the tourist destination of Fraser Island near at hand.

Comment – what is this all about? There would be a cost to the ratepayers whatever the destination. Money spent on a Council activity for the benefit of ratepayers might have proved a better outcome. Anyway, what would be wrong with the newly elected Councillors meeting in the Council Chambers at either Hervey Bay or Maryborough? After all, both are arguably tourist destinations and hasn’t the Council been promoting them as such? The more things change the more………………………………

At least one resident had the good sense to comment publicly in a letter to the local media that if the people the ratepayers had elected to office were to act as professionals then there should be no need for the bonding session at all.

Great news for the ratepayers of the Fraser Coast. It has been reported in the Fraser Coast Chronicle (30/04/16) that ‘Fraser Coast Councillors have labelled their team bonding exercise in the Bunya Mountains ‘high level stuff’.

‘Mayor Chris Loft said councillors listened to speakers and learnt how to work with each other. It’s about knowing yourself, how to work together and how to handle conflict’.

Further comment – Perhaps the voters laboured under the mis-apprehension that they were electing mature adults to be councillors, not children loose in the school yard.

But then the final word goes to Councillor Light – ‘It was sensational personal development. We discussed some visions we wanted to create and positive objectives – very high level stuff’.

Well done Rolf – no doubt this will make the ratepayers happy to know that our councillors have developed in a personal context and we can only hope that the visions are a little more realistic than last time. We do know now that the bill is in the mail. Money well spent, as always.

Second – news then broke that Councillor Seymour had been elected Deputy-Mayor.

Apparently Councillor Light was not convinced that this was the way things should be. Meetings had been held in secret – or so it was alleged.

Comment – wasn’t it a promise or policy of a particular candidate that if elected as Mayor that this kind of activity would be a thing of the past?! So much for transparency and openness. Well the story of the Deputy-Mayor does have a happy ending. Councillor Seymour has now been confirmed in that position, despite a baseless request made for the Deputy-Mayor to make public his future plans.

Well, the story of the Deputy-Mayor does have a happy ending. Councillor Seymour has now been confirmed in that position, despite a baseless request made for the Deputy-Mayor to make public his future plans.

Third – it has now been reported that one of the Council’s first decisions was that the Councillors receive an increase in their expenditure allowance. No doubt a unanimous decision.

Comment – Well done chaps! Your desire for self-sacrifice and to put the ratepayers first is now up in lights for all to see. Proof positive that if the well-known race horse ‘Self Interest’ is a starter, it is always worth a bet irrespective of the odds. Such selflessness is all too rare a commodity these days.