Minister of Local Government warns candidates for Councils to put ratepayers first – or else

Local councillors who put their own political and personal interests above ratepayers before this year’s elections could be potentially removed from office as part an expanded set of powers given to the watchdog.

By Angus Thompson

NSW Local Government Minister Shelley Hancock (above) has urged the state’s 1300 councillors to “take a good look at themselves”, saying the government had no tolerance for “petty politics” in the months preceding the September election.

“Ratepayers rightfully expect high standards of leadership and behaviour from their elected representatives,” she said.

Read the full story, published at The Sydney Morning Herald, today here;

8 thoughts on “Minister of Local Government warns candidates for Councils to put ratepayers first – or else

  1. The way councils are set up and designed doesn’t allow councillors to do what’s best for any town.
    The system of voting is corrupt and can easily manipulated as I pointed to the state government a couple of elections back. The white paper produced from that wasn’t even any good for cleaning windows because they clearly want the councils to operate in a corrupt and unethical manner because they don’t want to see the truth behind the disaster of state councils and the debt many incur.
    The council system is no longer viable to serve the needs of the people and state government spending isn’t taking into account what needs to be done first in each city and surrounding towns. People are just being used as pawns for political outcomes and marketing for them.
    Cities like Coffs Harbour, if you can even call it a city, are a sham to those residents living there being forced to endure years of below standard living affecting their quality of life. This pattern is Australia wide and again politicians are content to leave people and towns in squalor because they simply don’t want to admit the council system is broken and corrupt.
    Then there’s ongoing issues with homelessness which again no one will take any action about. Read my report that I produced years ago: Politicians & Councils Should Read My Report On Homelessness –

    Comment first published at CCIN Facebook site.

  2. Coffs Council need an administrator to check spending on the monument to our Mayor. What ever we do she has the casting vote. Rate payers are helpless.

    1. It’s the feeling of helplessness which most frustrates me. Combine that with the anger felt at the subversion of the democratic process, and it’s no wonder so much ill feeling has been created by Denise Knight.

  3. Public spaces and are essential ingredients in every community. Public space provide opportunities for people to meet and be exposed to a variety of neighbors. These meetings often take place by chance, but they also can come through active organizing. The art of promoting constructive interaction among people in public spaces has been nearly forgotten in many communities
    We also need spaces for minorities to engage and feel a sense of belonging. These spaces welcome all of us equally, minority groups ,LGBTQI, you name it without prejudice.

  4. Hancock had her chance to support the Coffs community, by taking action when the inappropriate behaviour of the mayor first raised its ugly head. Her responses to my letters were meaningless, and numerous other correspondents experienced similar obfuscation.
    To now come out and rattle her sword, is hypocrisy in its grandest form.

  5. Karen, hold on to that thought for a moment. I agree! We do need a place for such community relationship interaction, a place for the people of our city to congregate and rub shoulders.

    When our Queen Elizabeth II anchored “Britannia” in our harbour almost fifty years ago, she graciously received a Civic Reception in our Castle Street Civic Centre. It was a grand occasion for a proud community that heralded Coffs Harbour becoming a city. Where could we host such an event today? Over thirty years ago our Civic Centre was demolished to erect an ugly car park in the name of progress!

    After decades of public consultative meetings, architectural plans for City Hill were displayed, which failed to gain Council approval. Election campaign promises made during subsequent elections filled our community with new hope, and our people warmly embraced the proposed CCS as restoration of this long-lost facility. To our chagrin, stunned citizens found that the CCS was not a social meeting place or the promised Entertainment Centre, but a new administration space by deft definition. Thus it becomes our third Architect Designed Chambers in less than forty years!

    If you seek to unify our community, address the real problem that caused 15,000 residents to protest this gross misrepresentation of our need for Cultural Space.

    1. I’m assuming that the ugly car park Tom refers to, is that same concrete monstrosity which will serve as a glorious backdrop to the Glass Castle. That same construction will unintentionally serve a second purpose – for me, it will always be a reflection of the shabby behaviour of the mayor, in her push to create her new council chambers.

      1. No, wrong ugly carpark, Julian. It’s the other ugly carpark adjacent to the C.ex one block back towards Highway. The one reserved for C.ex members that’s mostly empty during the day. That was where Coffs’ original Castle street ‘Civic’ Centre/ Town Hall once stood.

        Coffs residents referred to this building as Coffs’ Civic Centre even though it did not house council offices. The council of the day did a land swap with the then RSL for the land upon which the university now stands.

        So when the proponents of the CCS first consulted Coffs residents about a new cultural and ‘civic space’, most of them thought the day had finally arrive when their beloved and greatly missed Civic Centre was going to finally be replaced and they could again enjoy live shows and other public gatherings.

        Little did residents realise the term ‘civic space’ during the extremely superficial public consultation phase would eventually mean ‘council administration offices’. It was this very thing, this inexcusable sleight of hand by the CCS proponents that has confused and angered the Coffs community.

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