THE announcement of council amalgamations has stirred much resentment and I guess that it will continue to do so.
Nevertheless, in my opinion, the amalgamations have not gone far enough.
We are, presently, over-governed and ideally either state governments or local governments need - ultimately - to go.
Whittling down (or is that whittling up?) local councils into larger regional identities is a good start but the bureaucrats with the whittling knife haven't gone far enough methinks.
Every single current council (whether they passed or failed the imaginary Baird-Test) should have been merged into at least two, and preferably three, single council areas.
Four or more mergers would actually be ideal.
Yes, this would save another billion or more dollars, but more importantly it would give voters a chance to vote for the real cream of local government representatives.
Have a look at the current bucket of Wagga councillors and ask yourself how much of that little bucket is "cream" - not enough for a scone, says I.
Yes, we'd (as Waggans) have to get used to being lumped in with someone else.
And just who that might be would be a later discussion.
Personally, I'd liked to have seen Wagga merged with Albury, Junee and Coolamon.
At the very least, it would give me some candidates with real and regionally specific policies to choose from on polling days.
IF YOU have a good look at the map, some councils should have their boundaries adjusted, which would actually make more sense, and the result would be more practical and desirable.
However, long loyalties, long memories and long history are at stake.
What has happened is the IPART decisions have just shoved areas willy-nilly together, to basically suggest IPART has legitimacy; to support that they have done the work.
There are some decisions, such as combining Conargo with Deniliquin, which are logical to someone in Sydney, but lack understanding of the regions.
Then, when you see Urana tied to Corowa and Lockhart, you can see the better idea would be to actually rejig the boundaries, so that the north-west of Urana Shire went into Murrumbidgee, as it has some community connections, and the southern areas are moved into the sphere of Corowa and Lockhart.
I guess it is all too hard, and the push to get the amalgamations in the Sydney basin was so imperative, the rural areas were just chucked together over a quick coffee to cover the collective backsides of the metropolitan elites.
THE story my parents told me is that a red man called St Nicholas threw coins from his carriage into the street, thus exemplifying the word of Jesus – kindness, caring, sharing, bringing love, joy and hope to others.
Some consider money a dirty word.
To those without it, it represents freedom, choice and the ability to survive.
It’s only while $7 million of pretty lights explode in the sky while starving and homeless people try and survive alone that money looks dirty.
That’s only in one city; imagine the cost worldwide?
By all means enjoy the fireworks, it’s our leaders that have set the agenda.
But remember, the best lights are already in the sky.
Forgiveness is easy when you’re fed, sheltered, loved and supported.
Merry Christmas and let’s hope for a happy new year.
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