Edward Mandla
Lord Mayor Rescinds Cr Mandla's Web-casting Motion as She Hates Scrutiny

Published On: 25/08/2014

Over a year ago Council resolved to work toward streaming Committee and Council proceedings via the Internet. Two subsequent questions on notice were put, responded to with reassuring utterances that the matter was being dealt with, and it clearly hasn’t.

The truth of the matter is that in the year that’s passed, nothing has been achieved until last meeting when I moved to have webcasting implemented by the end of October, which was passed by this Council.

However, tonight the Lord Mayor wants to rescind this motion.

The reasoning advanced in favour of this rescission motion is dubious at best, and at its worst, reveals this administrations contempt for its constituents to engage in its processes and see what they get for their money.

This atrophied administration should now do the honourable thing and abandon this rescission motion, or just level with the people and say that this Council prefers “Democracy in the Dark”.

This weary administration prefers to make everything confidential and hold the ICAC gun to our heads if we dare to question.

Accountability is not a priority for this fatigued administration, if it was, Webcasting would have been sorted out by now. They don’t want the ratepayer to see that with every item on this Councils Agenda, there is only ever one choice.

Sunshine makes the best disinfectant. That’s why this tired administration prefers “Democracy in the Dark”.

What we are seeing tonight are crocodile tears for democracy.

Embarrassingly, Councils with inferior resources have been doing this in some cases, like Dandenong, for a decade. We’ve dragged our feet.

They’ve seen the value of engagement. While we’re arguing about Webcasting tonight, citizens of Dandenong are watching proceedings at home, right now.

We pay lip service to it, like our dreadful performance on the business vote last election where only some seventeen hundred businesses voted out of eighty thousand. This Administration doesn’t want businesses to see how we waste their share of rates on schemes that are absolutely bonkers.

This Council boasts it is “Global and Connected” but we can’t do what teenagers can do in their bedroom, that is organise a Webcast. What’s our excuse?

Once again the hype is at odds with reality. When you get past the elaborate “Global and Connected” shop front, it turns out there’s nothing in the shop to sell.

What’s our excuse?

From King County Seattle in the North West, to Miami Dade County in the South East, US County Governments webcast their proceedings.

The same applies in Canada. Over half of Wales and all of the UK Local Governments webcast, but not us.

What’s our excuse?

The Greens policy Statement of 2010 provides for webcasting of Local Government proceedings, and they are represented in this chamber.

What’s our excuse?

The Lord Mayor in her September 2012 Valedictory speech to State Parliament spoke at length of the importance of accountability and transparency in government and always maintaining grassroots support.

What better way to help achieve these values that she allegedly espouses than to make these proceedings widely available through a technology it seems everyone else can offer but us.

It seems the road to hell in this chamber is paved with good intentions.

What’s our excuse? We’re out of excuses.

Our time for foot dragging and treating the people of Sydney with contempt is now over.

Demonstrate to the Ratepayers of this city that you use words like “accountability” and “transparency” like they mean something and not a punchline in a joke made in poor taste at someone else’s expense, namely the Ratepayers of this City.

“Democracy in the Dark” must end immediately. If this administration is to maintain a shred of credibility in its civic responsibilities, this rescission motion must fail.

Edward Mandla
August 2014

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