Sick City Planning

City planning is one contentious service that ratepayers understand first hand, especially during Melbourne 2030 days. Monash is one of the 10% of municipals with the lowest open space facilities for its residents and its planning dept is doing nothing to benefit the health of the community as it continues to increase developments in the city. According to The Age, city planners are making people sick because of their shortsighted planning… read more

Beware: Another lame excuse coming to bump up rates further

Senator Barnaby Joyce – Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Water; Leader of the Nationals in the Senate

Duplicated  from his homepage:

Carbon tax to hit local government rates too

The carbon tax is a broad-based consumption tax delivered to every household and business via their power points. If you own a toaster, you pay the tax. If you put out a garbage bin on a Tuesday night, you are going to pay the tax. If you have a street light out the front of your house, you are going to pay the tax.

Apparently, just the imminent introduction of the tax has had an impact, since they have announced it we have had one of our coldest summers on record and it hasn’t stopped raining. I imagine that once it has been introduced we will go into a diluvium freeze.

Local governments will be hit by the tax too through higher electricity prices and higher landfill costs, said Senator Barnaby Joyce, Shadow Minister for Local Government, today.

The Herald Sun reports today that ratepayers in Victoria will be hit with an increase in their rates of up to 3 per cent because of the carbon tax. Providing street lighting and removing rubbish and waste are core local government responsibilities and they will all be more expensive because of this tax.

Frankston Council is set to increase rates by 3.5 per cent due to the carbon tax and a small landfill levy, and the City of Whittlesea expects the tax to raise rates by 1.5 per cent.

The Brisbane City Council has already warned that rates will have to go up by 2%, the Dubbo City Council has estimated that its power bill alone will increase by $500,000, while the Tamworth Regional Council estimates an impact on their electricity bill of $300,000.

Just like any business, local governments will have to pass these costs on in the form of higher rates. I am sure everyone will be thankful for the carbon tax next time they get their rates notice.

Ratepayers across the country will be rightly demanding, why must we pay a tax that we didn’t vote for and that which won’t change the temperature outside?

1 March 2012

More information-Matthew Canavan 0458 709433

Food for Thought – Is Council Decision-Making Responsible?

Read this 31 Jan 2012 Herald Sun article – Example of governance questions that ratepayers can ask of their Council:

  • Has the implementation and on-going financial management of the decision been evaluated during its making?
  • Did the agreeing Councils consider other more effective strategies  that can better benefit the Aboriginal community?
  • Has the local ratepayers been consulted as they are funding the implementation and on-going expenses of their Councils’ decisions?
  • Has the Aboriginal community been consulted to confirm that this decision is what they want as best choice?

Council decision making has to be accountable – is it? Who owns decision accountability? What protection or legal rights  ratepayers have when no one takes accountability for poor decisions?

The evidence …..

The aboriginal funeral idea is out of line with directions of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s national Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) framework. This RAP framework prefers organisations to pursue reconciliation through clear actions and commitments focussed on respect, relationships and opportunities (The Australian, 6 Feb 2012). Dr Calma (Reconciliation Australia co-chair) states that “RAPS are helping to build a nation that understands its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural roots and that’s something that benefits all Australians”.

Unfortunately, the aboriginal funeral expense reimbursement decision agreed by several Councils recently showed evidence of poor, irresponsible and discriminating Council decision making because:

  • As an advocate for multiculturalism, Councils should know better that  Australian indigenous people are made up of 2 distinct groups – the Aborigines and Torres Straits islanders. By excluding Torres Straits indigenous people in the Councils’ consensus decision, they have violated racial equality in their decision making and created disharmony in RAP execution.
  • The consensus decision creates public conflicts that divide the indigenous people and other Australians in the ratepayers community
  • There is no disclosure of financial funding and sound management to ensure no impact on future rate rises, which may also result in controversial public debates that adds to the unnecessary divide of the indigenous people and the wide Australian community.

 Council decision makers are community leaders and not understanding the governance requirements and public harmony of their consensus decision is no excuse. They can be asked to resign or  not stand for the next election, or even to be sacked as the growing preception is that they not  capable and befitting to represent their ratepayer communities.

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