Edward Mandla
COUNCIL SPEECHES
Amalgamations

Published On: 26/10/2015
Earlier this year, the Lord Mayor filled the Chamber with her boosters and we were told how this was the best government in Australia and everything was just great.

ďAmalgamation is a Dragon that has to be slayed. Itís a Daily Telegraph, right wing media snow job. Itís a big end of town conspiracy, itís a Liberal Party ploy to seize control of Town Hall.Ē I am sure somewhere in all of this Lord Mayor even mentioned the Japanese Yakuza were involved and the Kennedy assassination had something to do with it as well.

The reason we arrived at this unique perspective is simple. We purely looked at the amalgamation puzzle from our own perspective. Not the Residents, not the Ratepayers and certainly not from the businesses who contribute the bulk of our Tax Revenues.

I did not see the case for amalgamation considered with any enthusiasm in this Council. I was left with the impression that instead of behaving like the Civic Leaders that we are elected to be, in the business of leading informed consent, we have been in the business of manufacturing consent.

Instead of looking to save Taxpayers dollars, we are looking to save our jobs. Instead of looking for opportunities that amalgamation may offer, we have told the people of this city to wait for dead menís shoes. Staff were directed to produce a report against amalgamations and they performed brilliantly. They could have been asked to prepare a balanced report considering the 5, 10, 20 year vision and benefits of one of the largest economic, tourist and residential zone in the Southern Hemisphere but were asked not to. Who knows Ė if they had been given wider scope the report could have come to us with the same, or a different conclusion.

Pile on top of that a concocted community consultation that looked a lot like push polling to me, and there you have it. Amalgamations are a bad thing Ė we told you so.

As the costs and benefits are weighed up, I canít help but wonder if this was viewed as an exercise for the governed or for those who govern.

Here is the reality: Amalgamations will wipe out the Clover Moore Independent Party.

With every breath in a Clover Moore administration, a sympathy card is played. You should have shares in Hallmark Greeting Cards. Perhaps itís time to get out the leadership cards instead (if Hallmark make those). The game has changed. Everyone is now at the table and it is not me, nor IPART nor anyone else in this chamber that decides whether or not we are fit for the future, it will be a judgement at the ballot box which I am looking forward to.

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