Welcome to this week’s editorial, The question this week is “When do ‘porkies’ become lies?” When did intended omissions, little white lies, porkies, fibs, call them what you want, become acceptable of our local Council?
We have become accustomed to them at a higher level with the State and Federal Governments and internationally we learned of “alternate truths” but for one reason or another our expectations would have us expect our own Local Government to be open, transparent, truthful and not prone to porkies. Alas there are so many ‘porkies’ being told that there would be enough for a Council Christmas BBQ if they were all bundled together.
This week we heard a very clear statement by councillor saying “unfortunately we do not know what those changes are” to the “number of differences to the Rural Lands Strategy document, signed by the Minister of Planning recently. Yet the changes are very well known publicly via an array of documents available on the Planning website. Was this an intended omission, a save–face ploy or a porkie to buy time?
The list of porkies known to the Beagle told by Council Executives and Councillors is steadily building to a worrying amount as the Cone Of Silence sits over the Moruya Council building and back room meetings discuss ways to keep the community in the dark. The veil of secrecy around the Council and the way it now deals with issues by initiating Invitation only meetings and events goes hand in hand with their closing down of the live streaming of Public Forum that served as evidence of many of the porkies told that were once captured on video but now go unseen and unheard.
Councillors have agreed to block the community from knowing how many Codes of Conduct have been lodged against Councillors and staff . If a councillor or staff member was found to breached the Local Government Act by way of fraud or corruption the community would be none the wiser. If a council staff member misused information for their own private purpose no-one would know.
Even as I type the CEO of Southern Phone is briefing Councillors, on behalf of ratepayers, of the merits of selling their shares (the ones that the Eurobodalla community own). The councillors are there to represent the opinion and the interests of the community yet the community have no idea of the meeting.
And what of the secret performance review of the General Manager this afternoon by councillors who, once again, represent the community. Yet the community are not allowed to know of the review nor of its findings and will be advised next year in the financials of any bonus the General Manager might receive. Are these omissions intended?
By not saying, is there a withholding of the truth? Bring on the BBQ. Until next—Lei
The porkies are starting to stack up