Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Letters to the Editor: Randwick Observers

Randwick Mayor Noel D’Souza has put himself in the same company as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.
Randwick Mayor Noel D’Souza has put himself in the same company as Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

Randwick Mayor Noel D’Souza says resignation from Labor Party akin to choices made by Mandela, Gandhi

RANDWICK mayor Noel D’Souza has said his decision to not vote along party lines was akin to those made by “men of conscience like Gandhi and Nelson Mandela”.

Facing expulsion from the Labor Party for failing to support the caucus-endorsed candidate two years running, Cr D’Souza has resigned from the party on his own terms.

In a letter dated May 3, the NSW Labor Party confirmed Cr D’Souza’s resignation had been processed. Cr D’Souza said he was now preparing an independent ticket for the next election.

“I will run as an independent, I will not let the people down,” he told Southern Courier. “I think what has happened is there are a set of rules, (the party) is of the view I conspired by not following the caucus decision.
“Men of conscience like Gandhi and Nelson Mandela ... they did not follow. History has shown they did the right thing.”
Randwick mayor Noel D'Souza at Coogee Beach. Picture: Adam Yip
Cr D’Souza was facing expulsion from the party for challenging the caucus-endorsed candidate for mayor in 2015 and 2016.
He was reprimanded this year for failing to vote for and officially work with Labor councillor Greg Moore last year and Labor councillor Kathy Neilson the year before. In standing against his colleagues he said he was putting ratepayers first in a desire for “social justice”.
The party’s internal appeals tribunal directed the administrative committee to expel Cr D’Souza and it was expected he would appeal the decision.
But Cr D’Souza said he would not fight to remain in the party and chose to leave “quietly”.
“I was offered an appeal process but I’ve moved on,” he said.
He said he would call his independent group Residents First or Community First and revealed former rugby union and rugby league star Russell Fairfax would join him on the ticket.
“I’ve got many others who want to join me,” he said.
Deputy mayor, Liberal councillor Brendan Roberts, said he was not shocked by Cr D’Souza’s move.
“The mayor has been acting fairly independently for years and now ... I’m surprised Labor hadn’t acted earlier,” he said.
Randwick Council elections will be held in September, pending the possible merger with Woollahra and Waverley.
Southern Courier Randwick Mayor Noel D’Souza says resignation from Labor Party akin to choices made by Mandela, Gandhi

Award-worthy work
WHILE fully acknowledging the Randwick mayor’s martyrdom, may I suggest a comparison with Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela appears a slight exaggeration (Courier, May 9).

Notwithstanding, to lessen his suffering, may I nominate him as a recipient of the Mal Colston Award created in recognition of those former members who showed unconditional loyalty to their party.

Garry Carroll, Maroubra

Not such a noble cause
IT SEEMS an act of hubris for Noel D’Souza to liken himself to Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela; they acted always in the interests of their people whereas Mr D’Souza ignored the 60 per cent of residents who opposed the merger with Waverley and Woollahra.

He aligned himself with Sally Betts who is seen to work for the interests of developers, rather than the community.

Kerry Dwyer, Coogee

Southern Courier 16 May 2017

Our illustrious history of transport blunders
THE article in the Southern Courier (April 11) showing hundreds of students queuing to get a bus highlights the problem when both sides of the political fence get it wrong with major infrastructure works.

In 1967 the Askin Government began the Eastern Suburbs Railway line which was to run from Sydney Town Hall to Bondi and return via Kingsford, the University of NSW then Randwick and back to Central.

In 1976 the tunnelling was completed to Bondi Junction but due to complaints from eastern suburbs residents, Premier Neville Wran halted the line at Bondi Junction. If this line had been completed as originally planned, the travelling time from the city to the UNSW would only be 15 minutes compared to the average crawl during peak hours of over 70 minutes.

Residents are paying dearly for politicians who stuff up major infrastructure works, such as swapping a three-lane tunnel for a two-lane tunnel on the M5 and the fiasco with the public-private partnership to build the Sydney Airport Rail Link. This has resulted in fares for an adult of $17.90 and $14.40 for a child.

But under the O’Farrell/Baird/ Berejiklian governments the story becomes even worse. As Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejiklian wanted to save a lousy $200 million by building the North East Rail Link with smaller tunnels. Because of these smaller tunnels, the present metropolitan trains will not be able to use this line, so therefore new engines and carriages will have to be brought and bang goes the savings.
A glance at Australian transport history would have shown Premier Berejiklian she was making the same mistake of our politicians in the 19th century when the state governments built the national rail network system with different gauges.
The gaffes do not end there, as the Eastern Suburbs Light Rail will stop at Kingsford, forcing commuters travelling beyond that terminal to La Perouse to disembark at Kingsford and catch a bus to complete their journey.
Worse, the light rail will not handle the peak-hour rush so buses will have to be used to meet demand.
Tony Morrissey, Chifley