Where is the money?
As a tax and rate payer, I believe that good governance is about investing money and resources wisely to improve our society’s standard of living for everyone.
People generally do not have a problem with paying taxes as long as they go back to the community.
To provide for better government services like education, health care, social support etc.
I find it very disheartening when I hear and see that the council has cut back the services it once provided to the Esperance community, all for the sake of saving money.
From what I hear, the Esperance Council has around $10million in its bank account, which puts Esperance in a good position financially.
However, it is no good for people to pay their rates only to have the money sit there, and go nowhere.
Saving money is as bad, if not worse off than spending money poorly.
At least by spending money poorly, then one would think the council could learn from its mistake and spend the money more wisely.
But to just hoard the money is really bad.
Then basic services such as road repair, community safety, elderly care and so on, will not only fail to keep up with the demand, but generate community anger and frustration.
Most of the funding for projects around Esperance comes from grant funding, so why would it be worthwhile to save a lot money?
Honest and open communication towards the public would help explain the decision council has made for saving the money, but asking for that is like squeezing blood from a stone. I would like to think it is going towards something worthy for our town.
The waste site decision
As a concerned ratepayer, town resident, and past Shire Councillor, I write to express my deep concern at some of the goings-on within the Council recently.
It appears to me that the waste disposal site decision at the recent “closed-doors” meeting was certainly not one enjoying the full support of the Council.
It was in fact, a small group of Councillors who forced through a motion by a casting vote, effectively negating the opinions and wishes of not only an equal number of fellow Councillors, but also the ratepayers more directly affected by the locality of the site chosen.
When such a motion as this on a very significant future project for the Shire, passes only by this type of margin, it cannot be claimed to be clearly conclusive and it certainly does not reflect the wishes of either a significant number of councillors or the community.
This type of long term community infrastructure project requires not only compliance with a whole host of regulatory requirements as amplified by the Shire administration, but just as importantly, by meaningful consultative and negotiated agreement with the community.
Does this sound familiar?
It should, as in the case of the tanker jetty we’ve seen what happens when the process stalls due to Council intransigence and I’m very surprised they haven’t learnt from this.
Of course there is now an urgent need to resolve the question of a new site and this falls clearly (and heavily) on the Council’s shoulders to carry this responsibility.
However, I predict that as a result of the Shire President’s action in her apparent haste to progress the matter, there will be yet another ruction developing along lines similar to those of the jetty: the Shire digging in to weather the storm while the community gets further and further disillusioned by their antics and wonders how this is all going to end.
The time has come for the community to give serious thought to what has been going on “up on the hill” for some time now.
There is a crying need for inspired changes in leadership and direction; as all the plans in the world will not hide the fact that we have a hotch potch developing in Council.
Esperance people wake up and make your views known on this latest decision.
It is always immensely saddening to loose a life, especially one so young as we saw in this weeks shark attack, once more off Wylie Bay.
I have nothing but sadness in my heart for the family and others who have lost their lives or have been directly affected by shark attacks.
What is also sad is to hear the politicians and the press beating up the issue of sharks versus human life for political and sensationalist gain.
Politicians who argue human life is more valuable than sharks are losing sight of the real issue.
Man does not own or belong in or on the ocean (as it reminds us so often) and in that environment we have no rights.
There is no reason for us not to use the ocean for recreation as long as we accept the risk and the danger associated with it.
Accept that the ocean is where sharks and crocs live and be aware of the danger they pose.
Try all possible ways to minimise the risk but do not have the arrogance to suggest humans have more right to the ocean than its creatures.
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