Talk Of The Town

Posted: August 26, 2012 in Local Politics, Uncategorized

I don’t know about the rest of the country, but here in NSW we are rapidly approaching council elections.

Having received the Liberal flyer for my ward, I thought I’d share it with you all and see if it stacks up to the “Liberal With The Truth Test”. I thought I’d use the test from a Local, State, and Federal perspective, as it may just have more relevance to you all then. Call that a hunch…

So, below is an image of the front of the card. Yes, it is a card, not a foldout leaflet, just a card, which is fine.

The 3 candidates, I won’t go into them, but just briefly Deputy Mayor Michelle Byrne, despite being Liberal is actually quite a nice person, I wouldn’t vote for her, but she is genuinely nice. Mike Thomas I have never said 2 words to, however if I had the chance to say 2 words I have a good idea what they would be, and, needless to say, they would not be good and morning… Mike Blair I wouldn’t know if I fell over him, and his picture doesn’t help much. I can only assume that he is not really photogenic, maybe even grotesque, either that or he couldn’t be arsed showing up for a photo shoot. Maybe, given what has been going on in the Hills Shire with the Liberals of late, there may have been concerns that people may recognize him from Australia’s Most Wanted… Who knows???

Anyway flipping the card over, let’s take a look at the back.

Ah, the 5 point plan. Where have I seen that before? At least this one doesn’t mention the sinking, turning back, or stopping of boats I suppose.

So let’s look at the plan points

1. Protect our unique Hills lifestyle

That sounds really good, and it would be, were it true.

Some of you may have seen a recent post I wrote about a development that is being proposed in my area. In an area that is made up of single and double story houses, there is a proposal to put 2, 25 story towers of cheap flats. The developer in question has made 2 separate donations to the local Liberal Party.

Meanwhile the State Liberal govt has chosen to take what was locals thought to be a plan for an underground railway, and turned it into a “Skytrain”, complete with a graffiti wall.

Our shire is called the Garden Shire, with Liberal control of council, and now state govt, we are rapidly becoming a concrete jungle.

Protect our lifestyle? Big fail.

2. Continued fiscal responsibility

This one is a cracker…

At Federal level, this is the party whose shadow treasurer, Sloppy Joe Hockey, assured us the coalitions costings had been audited. Later on, not only was that shown to be shabby, the accountants who did the “auditing” were fined by their own industry watchdog, but even after all that, we still ended up with a multi billion dollar black hole anyway.

At local level, the fiscal responsibility of the Liberals has seen the Liberal Mayor forced to step down over questions of embezzling $280,000, and questions were also raised regarding underhanded payments for the new council chambers property by shock jock, Ray Hadley.

Another Liberal councillor is leaving this council whilst being investigated for cab-charge fraud.

Fiscal responsibility, don’t make me laugh… Epic fail.

3. Improved infrastructure

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

At state level I have already mentioned how the underground railway near us has turned into a “Skytrain” that nobody wants. This rail link that has yet to be started was also going to be heavy rail, it is now going to be light rail. Where it joins the existing Epping to Chatswood heavy duty rail line, the O’Farrell govt have announced the existing line will be upgraded to suit.

I’m sorry? Upgraded from heavy rail to light rail? Would that not be a downgrade?

Anyway, infrastructure under the Liberal State govt has seen only 1 development so far. We lost a monorail. What an achievement.

Improved infrastructure, another fail.

4. Revitalising our town centres

In the Hills Shire we have 2 town centres, Rouse Hill, and Castle Hill.

Rouse Hill has a great town centre I have to agree, it has cafe’s, has atmosphere, it has fountains that kids can play in as they are at ground level and designed with kids in mind, it is a great centre. However it does not need revitalising, that’s already been done.

Rouse Hill Town Centre

Actually, in the Town Centre is a plaque that bears the name of the person responsible for the Town Centre, Frank Sartor.

Ah yes, Frank, the former Labor minister. Never mind though, at least the Liberal Party’s Phillip Ruddock opened another part of the community that is vital, the McDonalds at Dural.

As for Castle Hill town centre, it has seen vast improvement. If only it didn’t take half an hour on a Saturday morning to drive 500m up Showground Rd to get to it. It seems like an eternity ago that the plans were drawn up to fix the road, and even then it was the Labor councillors that had to raise the money for the design.

Sorry, another fail.

5. Community Engagement

We’ve already seen that your number 3 can’t be arsed to turn up for a photo to hopefully get himself elected, so we don’t expect much engagement from him.

One of the buildings where there was a lot of community engagement was the Hills Centre. It was used by council, by local schools, local religious and community groups, and of course charity and disability groups.

That is now closing down. It will be gone. Great community engagement at work there by the local Libs.

The Samantha Riley Drive Residents Action Group, who are the residents fighting the 25 story towers, have not heard from Clr Mike Thomas, not a peep. This is despite sending him letters, emails, and leaving phone messages. Even when the group has attended council twice, he has not acknowledged them at all, let alone shown any interest whatsoever. Despite it being his ward.

Community engagement is yet another fail I’m afraid.

So it seems the five point plan, despite it being short and simple, is clearly all too much for the local Liberals. I would suggest at starting out with a 1 point plan, seeing if you can get that together and maybe build from there.

Aside from 5 point pipe dream, we have the rest of the card that talks of integration of the Nth West Rail Link. That is at least 8 years away guys, a long way from integration…

We have the need for the provision of

“essential infrastructure such as footpaths and open space”.

Wow, we can expect footpaths under local Liberal government? They really are looking after the big things.

And “open space”… Gee, I hope that doesn’t blow out the budget. I have never heard of someone trying to get elected before on the promise of “open space”. Not only that, they even call open space infrastructure.

Only the Liberal Party could ever take doing absolutely nothing, call it creating open space, and then think of it as an infrastructure achievement.

I hope the rest of you have just a big a laugh as I did when your local Liberal flyer arrives.

That promise of open space and referring to it as infrastructure to me is just the funniest thing I have seen in ages.

Anyway, it gave me a good laugh at the end of my weekend, I hope it makes you smile as we head into another working week.

  1. murray says:

    That bit about open space had me in stitches 🙂

  2. owen says:

    … the most interesting (and disturbing) thing about the Liberal party card is the absence of capital letters at the bottom of the front … given that the Liberal Party logo is a stylised capital L, i find it odd that they would consider using no capital letters at the bottom of the card … “local issues. local action. local liberals” … it’s almost as though they consulted me! … perhaps it’s a furphy to con the voters into imagining that these particular Liberal candidates are “small l liberals” … as opposed to the Liberal party which is very much the opposite …

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