The Last Resort

Posted: February 7, 2012 in Local Politics

Here in the Hills Shire, we are lucky. We are lucky in that if we want to see for ourselves what it is like to have a council that looks after the area, some of Blacktown City Councils suburbs are only a stones throw away. Still I guess it’s not fair to compare Blacktown City Councils area to the Hills Shire, after all, Blacktown is the Garden Shire… Oh wait, that’s right, that’s us, oops…

Driving around Stanhope Gardens (aptly named) or Kellyville Ridge, you would assume that you were in the Garden Shire. There are parks, trees with flowers on them, and manicured grass. Crossing back over Old Windsor Rd into the Hills Shire though, you see what our council calls a garden, a gum tree surrounded by a few weeds…..

Gum trees belong in the bush, not on someone’s back fence. Our council is so clever, that if you take a drive down Sanctuary Drive at Beaumont Hiils, you will find gum trees pulling up the pavement and dropping branches on parked cars, damaging their roofs and bonnets, on both sides of the road. Even worse, just for good measure, they are down the median strip as well. I hate to think what this street will look like in 5 years, after the gum trees have grown even more, and their roots start pulling up the median strip, and the road itself.

Don’t think it is just one road either, the council is continuing to either plant, or allowing developers to plant more gum trees all over the shire. Why? You may well ask, I think its not because they are native, it’s probably because they are cheap…. While you are driving around, you may notice the overgrown grass and weeds that make up our median strips. The so called gardens in the Hills Shire, with a couple of rare exceptions, are weedy, overgrown disgraces and eyesores.

No doubt driving around you will notice the obstacle courses that somehow pass as roads… Our shires roads have to be the worst in the western world for potholes. I don’t understand why… we pay high rates, our council is supposed to care… So I just don’t get why again if I cross over to the Blacktown side of Windsor Rd, all is fine, smooth roads, nice trees…

Roads like Annangrove rd are a disgrace, there are potholes there that are deep enough for a small child to hide in, Old Northern rd is another bad joke, yes the craters get filled in, but they are back again 2 days later… It is getting to the point where we will all need 4 wheel drives just to get around….. There are Extreme Sports Krusty Demon trail bike riders that would find Samantha Riley drive too perilous to tackle, which is a pity, as they would love to have a crack at the treacherous Glenhaven Rd at the end of it…. It’s not just to potholes either….

Where Hills Shire Roads Are Headed...

Don’t get me started on Showground rd, they must notice it, it’s just in front of council… We all use it…. We know that the vastly outnumbered Labor councillors managed to raise the funds to have the design work and planning done for the road to be upgraded at long last… Now if the Liberal councillors could all please put their infighting and factional brawling away for a while, maybe you can join those from the Labor camp and actually get something done about it…. While you’re at it, a set of lights would be handy at the corner of Glenhaven and Old Northern roads, and also the corner of Cropley Drive and Seven Hills Rd. I do realise it is Liberal tradition to wait until there has been the magic number of fatalities, permanent disabilities, and human vegetables stuck in coma-land caused by the intersections, before putting your hand in your pocket becomes viable. However, if you could hurry up before someone I know, or some poor child becomes another one of your necessary statistics I would appreciate it.

Before you think of saying that this is an RTA issue that comes under state govt, isn’t it your job to lobby them? I know you meet with them….

I am also aware that the new Liberal state govt has spent all of its money appointing more useless Parliamentary Secretaries, breaking its own promise and creating a bigger, more expensive government…. But surely this vastly Liberal council can convince just one of our Liberal state members to get off their fat lazy ass and ask the question…. Is that asking too much?

I am not saying they are asleep at the wheel, or they don’t know the area, however the last time I went to council, I complained about the lack of toilet facilities in our parks, and don’t even mention disabled facilities….

Many of these parks have BBQ’s, which to me would suggest people would be there for a while and may need a loo… I was asked by the new Liberal Mayor, Greg Burnett, for an example, so I told him Bella Vista Farm. Mayor Burnett assured me that Bella Vista Farm indeed had very fine public facilities, and that the Hills Shire website will be updated to say the park has toilets, and that I was wrong in thinking otherwise.

Now I am big enough to admit when I am wrong, and it turns out that Mayor Burnett was right, there are toilets at Bella Vista Farm.

Yes, I was wrong folks…

However, where I was confusd, and this was not indicated by the Mayor,is that the toilets are part of the Historic Bella Vista Farm, not the park…

Yes they are there, but you have to scale a 7ft fence with spikes on the top to get to them… not exactly ideal for the disabled, pregnant ladies or small children… actually anyone for that matter.

The other drama, is they are only open for half a day… once a month…. That’s convenient.

I think Mayor Burnett wants to make an Olympic sport out of bladder control, or does the council just endorse public urination?

But never fear though folks, if you are at Bella Vista Farm, and feel the urge, you are only a short drive from Blacktown councils domain, where there are plenty of public facilities available…..

I guess this is what happens when you have a Liberal dominated council… The developers flourish, while the ratepayers suffer….

I hope we all remember to address this come next council elections. Let’s put a bit more balance into our council, and make our Shire the envy of the country.

As it bloody well should be….

  1. wrb330 says:

    God Wixxy, your a victim as are many all over Australia of the dreaded but little recognised “corporatus incompetence”..

    This commonly occurs when book smart, life stupid people acquire positions within Council such as Manager Infrastructure, and lets not forget the old mates system of Councillors that reguarly sees allocated funds diverted away from priorities, (see missapropriation). In case your unaware its actually a breach to pull allocated funding away from a project to spemd it on something else, we called it budget hockey.
    This occurs generally to the satisfy the whining of minority community groups demanding ridiculous and non essential things like new kerbing around the public dunnies at their local park.
    Kaboom, suddenly three other needed projects come up short and the books get adjusted.

    Smart fella like yourself needs to walk in and demand the Councils expenditure record for the previous year and projected coming fiscal year. Then grab the Loc Gov Act of NSW read the intent and objectives of a Council under their own head of power and think about their activities.

    Thats when you will detect the smell of failure to adhere to their principles and guidlines, code of conduct, and best practice principles.

    If your rates are up and quality is down then somebody is either completely irresponsible or dipping into the bucket for non essential spending diverting funds away from priorities.

    Just my thoughts after 10 years in Loc Gov seeing all the above first hand.

  2. […] what would that be? I recall an earlier piece I wrote on the state of our local roads which are nothing short of a […]

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