Community sold a pup
I READ Hilltops council administrator Wendy Tuckerman’s words in the paper and dwelled for a while on the sentence: ”Like it or not, the merger is here to stay and it will be what we make it.
“Nothing will be achieved through continued negativity.”
A shame she hadn’t taken her own advice when Harden declined the opportunity to merge with Young and Boorowa.
She instead immediately started a campaign.
I thought the campaign, Boorowa Says No, sounded pretty negative but negativity is apparently what others engage in when they don’t agree with you.
On the face of it, things worked out great for Administrator Tuckerman.
Everything she could have wished for has eventuated.
She is the highest power on the new council, answerable only to the minister for local government.
Her previous general manager from Boorowa, now Hilltops general manager, is the second highest and she has a handpicked team of advisers and everyone is being remunerated for their efforts.
This will, of course, be relatively short-lived, assuming the goalposts are not moved by the state government and elections occur next September.
Let’s see the benefits for the old Harden Shire now and in the future.
We didn’t get our preferred option of Cootamundra despite numerous government assurances and overwhelming community support.
No one who lives in the old Harden shire is in senior management and we no longer have our elected councillors.
Instead, we have Mrs Tuckerman, who as shown above, actively lobbied against the outcome most Harden residents wanted to one she deemed better for her community of Boorowa.
Staff turnover appears higher under the new system with a number of people leaving council or retiring in recent months.
Large local developments are reportedly in limbo and transition budget costs already blowing out by $1.44 million.
So I am curious as to how this process has or is going to provide the long-term financial and representative benefits quoted to my community in Harden, or Boorowa in the longer term, for that matter.
All in all, very little to cheer about.
So, sorry Administrator Tuckerman, the bad taste lingers, and the future looks uncertain at best and downright grim at worst.
And no amount of grinning state government ministers holding oversized novelty cheques or pleas to play as a team for the greater good are going to change my mind.
Some not so lucky
AUSTRALIA is a lucky country.
We have made remarkable progress ending the AIDS epidemic within our borders.
However, 33 million people around the world are not as lucky, they are living with the pain and fear of AIDS right now.
AIDS cripples the poorest communities around the world, with over 95 per cent of HIV infections appearing within developing countries.
AIDS is still the leading cause of death in Africa, with the typical victim of the epidemic being black, female, young and poor.
Over two million people die from AIDS every year.
This is incredibly sad, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
As World AIDS Day falls today, December 1, it is important to celebrate Australia’s recent commitment to replenish the global fund in September, with a pledge of $220 million over the next three years.
The $13 billion the global fund recently raised will go a long way towards providing access to HIV prevention and treatment to save millions of lives.