Thursday 3 November 2022

"Vote for me and you will get free..."

Elections for our local council are taking place at present. Unlike state and federal elections it is not compulsory to vote  in these elections so the candidates have to work a little harder.

Our council has two distinct areas. There is the plains area on which I live and the hills area behind me. There are differing needs in the two areas and there are always complaints that one area or another is getting more than their fair share. The reality is that services are reasonably evenly divided between the two areas.

At the last election we lost a very good mayor. He had actually been getting things done. He had started to clear out some of "dead wood" and make the relationship between rate payers and the council simpler. He  cut back on some of the unnecessary "perks" of being a councillor and refused to be swayed by party politics. The council was, in his view, there to provide some essential services. It was not about politics, gender, race or any other woke issues. It was there to provide rubbish collection, roads, footpaths, the library, the community centres with programs for all ages and the like. In other words it was there to do exactly what councils are expected to do.

He lost the election to a woman who told people, "I'll provide free solar panels and a battery to everyone. We will fly the rainbow and indigenous flags rather than the national or state flag. We will make the council the cleanest, greenest one in the state...and more." 

She has proven herself to be a divisive figure. She used her position as mayor to unsuccessfully run for state parliament. The "free" solar panels of course have not happened. The cost of doing it would be far beyond the state's budget let alone the council budget. The annual Christmas carols (a fund raiser attended by all faiths, not only Christians) were cut but they still had an "end of year" event for council workers which was far more expensive than any previous one.

And yes, she plans to run again. So does the former mayor. He has been in the local shopping centre talking to all comers. He has been out door knocking. I chatted to his wife in the library (where she volunteers) and she sighed, "I hope he makes it but it is exhausting."

I hope he is returned too. I have no idea whether he will be successful or not. There are still people who believe they will get "free" solar panels by voting for someone else. I have tried to explain that there is no such thing as "free solar panels" but not everyone is listening.

It is like the present federal government which is still spruiking the idea that they have given everyone "cheaper childcare". No, they have done nothing of the sort. All they have done is shift the cost around and, in doing so, increased the cost of providing it. 

There really is no such thing as "free". I have voted for the man who did not mention the word and has not promised to reduce the cost of anything. He is simply saying he will do his best to keep costs from rising more than absolutely necessary. 

All this may of course mean he does not succeed - and that worries me.  

1 comment:

Rob P said...

Hi Cat,

Please can you let us know who wins.

I would love to know if honesty gets you anywhere these days.