Editorial Apr 12th 2019

Welcome to this week’s editorial, Elections are upon us yet again. This time at a Federal level so we now need to focus on what we need from a federal Government. Now come the big things such as electricity, climate, education, health and financial security. Over the next five weeks we are going to be inundated with gifts, promises and probably some fibs as well. What will be required is to take it all in and measure each against the Truth Meter using grains of salt as a weight. At all levels of government we have an expectation of openness, transparency and honesty. We like our politicians to be straight up and down and expect them to perform to the best of their abilities and to actually stand up for the community who voted them in and to reflect what concerns the community to the powers that be in all the agencies and offices of administration. In the past we have seen this by example from our Federal members for Eden Monaro and Gilmore and certainly seen a very hands on approach from our State member for Bega. At a local level it is less evident as the councillors appear to now best represent the public servants and have little if any regard for the community who voted them in and who also pay the wages for the entire show. This last week at Eurobodalla Council saw it fall to a new low (if that is possible) when they deleted 12 minutes of video from the public record of a presentation to councillors during Public Forum. They offered neither explanation nor apology for doing so and appeared quite indifferent to the fact that this was unprecedented with a throwaway explanation from the General Manager that it was fine by the rule book as the Public Forum, conducted during a Council meeting, wasn’t actually “part” of the meeting. Once again the councillors came under fire for the Model Code that was before them for adoption. One particular speaker who was delivering very uncomfortable blows of criticism to the meeting was not given the opportunity of an extension to speak as is the courtesy to most speakers. Instead when put to the vote his extension was denied—most likely in fear of what he was going reveal. The disappointment of this is that it was councillors, voted to represent the community, who voted against the speaker informing them that there was some very dodgy stuff going down in council and if they weren’t aware of it they should be because the staff weren’t telling them the entire truth and that there was some important stuff they needed to listen to at this late hour before they voted on moving and adopting the staff recommendation. But did they listen—no…. As always seems the way the Mayors Gang of Six outvoted the minority once again to endorse the General Managers bidding. Whilst we might have a disappointment in our local representation who appear to have little carriage with bureaucracy there are good signs that at the next level our local member is able to engage and represent. Now all we need is to have equally solid representation at a Federal level. In the meantime the next five weeks should be an interesting ride. Until next Lei

#LeiParker #Editorial #Opinion #Weekly

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