A Capital On the Highlands

By Brendan Ashton on Flickr
Canberra, by Brendan Ashton on Flickr

Did you know that Bowral, Moss Vale and Goulburn all thought themselves contenders for the site of Australia’s capital city? A meeting was held at the Bowral School of Arts on Wednesday, March 1, 1899 to advocate for just such a development.

Continue reading

Posted in Federal Government, State Government | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Chamber Rolls On

Mayor Larry Whipper
Mayor Larry Whipper

As Wingecarribee Shire Council goes to the community seeking a special rate variation of up to 46% over four years, 2ST and the Southern Highland News last week reported there was more “unrest in the chamber”. Continue reading

Posted in Council | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Redistributions Are Here Again

The Australian Electoral Commission has released proposals for the redistribution of New South Wales electorates, as part of it’s regular review to ensure citizens around the country have equally valuable votes. Continue reading

Posted in Federal Government | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

OPINION: Leadership Spills in Canberra and Moss Vale

The Shire's new Mayor, Cr Larry Whipper
The Shire’s new Mayor, Cr Larry Whipper

In a week where all eyes were on Canberra as Malcolm Turnbull challenged Tony Abbott for leadership of the Liberal Party and the nation, Wingecarribee Shire’s leadership also faced a coup.

The Mayor Duncan Gair was turfed out in the annual September circus, meaning we’ve now had three mayors in this term of council. Larry Whipper takes up the mayoral chains and said his priorities will be “to ensure councillors work together towards common goals that will benefit and progress our community.”

Given council’s record of code of conduct complaints this term – the most of any council in the state – it seems unlikely that they will be able to pull together under Cr Whipper’s leadership.

The new Deputy Mayor is Ian Scandrett.

The new mayor added: “Just some of the issues I believe our community wants us to action include improving Council infrastructure and services, investigating green initiatives and exploring greater opportunities for our youth.”

Unfortunately for Wingecarribee, it seems only one of the two leadership coups was legal. The Southern Highland News reports that because council did not give notice of the meeting or publish business papers, it may fall foul of the Local Government Act 1992 (NSW).

Cr Garry Turland certainly thought it did, and refused to take part in the vote. The Office of Local Government has reportedly said it is in contact with Wingecarribee Shire Council.

Meanwhile this week, the state government announced it was placing Hurstville Council into administration because the local government minister “has lost confidence in the council’s ability to conduct itself properly.”

Hurstville Councillors will get a three-month breather while an administrator takes over.

Given the apparent contravention of the Local Government Act and the huge waste of resources invested into code of conduct complaints by Wingecarribee, the ability of a council to conduct it’s business properly seems to be at a rather high threshold.

Posted in Council | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Tributes to Alby

Alby Schultz, long time member for Hume
Alby Schultz, long time member for Hume

Politicians across the spectrum have paid tribute to former Hume MP Alby Schultz, who died last month aged 76.

In Parliament yesterday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Mr Schultz was “one of the great characters”. Continue reading

Posted in Federal Government | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Rowell, Hodgkinson Dumped In Ministerial Reshuffle

The newly re-elected members for Cootamundra and Wollondilly – Katrina Hodgkinson and Jai Rowell – have been dumped from Mike Baird’s new cabinet, reports The Sydney Morning HeraldContinue reading

Posted in 2015 State Election, State Government | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s in a Home?

By our count, three of six candidates on today’s ballot paper for the electorate of Wollondilly live outside the electorate. Continue reading

Posted in 2015 State Election, Elections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turland’s Name Change

Voters in the Wingecarribee Shire may soon be asked whether the Shire’s should be changed to Southern Highlands.

At tonight’s meeting, Councillor Garry Turland will move:

THAT Council request the NSW State Government and the Electoral Commission to allow Council to ask/survey the residents of the Wingecarribee Shire to change the
name of the Shire to the Southern Highlands at the State Election in March 2015.

If passed as proposed, the state could give permission for the shire to conduct a plebiscite next March. The vote would be non-binding on council as it is not a referendum.


Posted in 2015 State Election, Council | Tagged | Leave a comment