I note that the participation of runners in the famous Wagga Lake Ride and Run has deteriorated over recent years. 2013 saw 1496 runners, 2014 saw 1232 runners, 2015 saw just 884 runners. Why is it so?
What is being done to rejuvenate this event? I was also disgusted and surprised by the music being broadcast from the mobile stage. I should not have to listen to the "F" word in singing while I am a captive audience at the beginning of the run.
Altogether though, I continue to participate, as I have since 1985, and enjoy the run and the challenge of it.
AFTER the controversy surrounding Auburn deputy mayor Salim Nehajer, the biggest issue in local government in NSW at the moment is builders and developers being elected to council and misusing their powers for their own benefit. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen.
The issue in Wagga at the moment is whether the people or the councillors should elect the mayor.
We have a great system with the councillors electing the mayor and what happened with the mayor in Griffith is proof that a popularly elected mayor is not the way to go.
The people don’t elect the Premier, the people don’t elect the prime minister. The team elects them and if they don’t perform, the team can put them out.
A popularly elected mayor is elected for a period of four years.
The wrong choice could have a devastating impact on the city.
It was only a few years ago the Department of Local Government conducted an investigation into Wagga City Council.
The council came within a bee’s whisker of being sacked.
The findings in the report are enough to make anybody think twice about giving the mayoral power exclusively to one person for four years.
Anyone who has a lot of money, like Salim Nehajar, and is prepared to spend it on promoting themselves can buy a popularly elected mayoralty.
The people who want to get in and out of the polling booths quickly will vote for the name they hear most in the media. The person could potentially not have the support of the other eight elected councillors.
Such a situation would result in a dysfunctional council for a full four years. It was only a few years ago we had frivolous code of conduct complaints and mediators costing the ratepayers a fortune and making Wagga a laughing stock.
We have an opportunity at the next election to elect people who have the best interests of the city at heart, who can elect a champion leader to take the city forward.
Now that Mr Turnbull is Australian Prime Minister, three things need to happen.
1. The National Party should renegotiate the “coalition”, making one of its requirements that Mr Turnbull be sacked and replaced by somebody with a more traditional mindset. Otherwise the Nationals to sit with the independents and hopefully ensure that the Turnbull Party will never govern.
2. The Catholic bishops of Australia should announce that its priests are longer available to perform “marriages”. They will gladly celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony for couples wishing to live as Catholics. But for Government-acknowledged “marriage”, people will have to go elsewhere.
3. The Queen should refuse to recognise Mr Turnbull as Prime Minister. He wants a republic, let him have one — if the Australian public will stomach the idea.
These things need to happen today. My bet is that none of them will ever happen.
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