Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Councils are the Root of All Evils: Bizarre Statements

“The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.”
Sunlight is the Best Disenfactant

Far from crying poor, NSW councils are rich and getting richer: analysis shows that the amount of money they hold has grown by $1 billion over the past two years.

Today, Tuesday 30 June 2015 AD is the final day for councils to make their case to the state government about whether they are financially fit to continue operating on their own. Those that fail the test might yet be forced to merge with their neighbours. The government will respond in October. 

The state government often repeats the controversial statistic that councils are losing $1 million a day, a claim that is central to their case for merging NSW's 152 councils. As Premier Mike Baird put it: "Losing $1 million a day is not something that we can ask the community to bear."
"Recent claims ... that councils are 'going broke' in NSW by '$1million per day' are shown to be fallacious by [these] growing cash balances," Professor Brian Dollery, an expert in local government at the University of New England, said. "The 'fact-free' nature of [the merger process is] laid bare for all to see."
Locals are rich and getting richer as merger deadline looms

 Loss of trust (John Menadue 1), ‘We need political reform to restore trust in our political system and our polity.’

In our cities, an ugly building is soon removed, and is never repeated, but any beautiful building is copied and improved upon, so that all masons and carpenters work to repeat and preserve the agreeable forms, whilst the ugly ones die out...

A few weeks ago while hunting for a flat, my housemate and I unwittingly signed up to inspect an illegal boarding house. Behind a nondescript door in a vomit-encrusted back laneway of Ashfield, Sydney, we went single file up a narrow staircase, pressing our bodies against the wall to avoid making contact with the garbage bins blocking most of the passage.
Mouldy rentals are no place to raise kids. Why isn't housing a scandal?