Democracy is fragile: be careful what you wish for
I wonder is it my age or is my naivete that I find some things difficult to understand.
I returned from a holiday and just couldn't find the Peninsula News.
I could only find some new paper on the patch.
When I did find the Peninsula News, it was a shadow of its former self and I presumed that the new bloke had cornered all the advertising.
I wondered just what had happened to loyalty, after all, the Peninsula News has served us well for almost 23 years.
We have heard a lot from the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce over the years but we have also heard from many ordinary people in the street.
Isn't this what democracy is about?
We don't yet live in a real democracy, for few of my views are represented by anyone in power but we are hopefully moving towards it and hearing from ordinary people is a step in the right direction.
Then I found that we had yet another expensive Administrator instead of a Council and that we were half a billion dollars in the red.
I wrote to this Administrator asking how anybody could misuse or misdirect such a large amount of money.
Why had we been paying an auditor or a general manager?
Of course I have received no reply.
I understand from the papers that there are 27 other councils in a similar position, many of them being amalgamations like ours.
This is surely not possible.
I smell a rat.
Is the State government finding the lack of regular income from what we used to own, such as the Land Titles Office, a problem for Treasury?
Do they want more power?
Do they just want to sell off OUR assets and heritage?
I understand that we might have a choice between selling off our libraries and open space, or a rate rise.
After all why would anyone in power want the public to have libraries; people might begin to think and that is dangerous.
Despite the pandemic showing the essential value of green, open space for mental health, we have all been taught that open space is more important for development; that brings in money.
When I mention this loss of funds to other rate-payers, some of them seem unworried.
As they say, if they worried about every problem like this, they would slit their throats but isn't this what dictators depend on?
Democracy is a very fragile thing, under stress across the world.
Without independent journalists and papers such as the Peninsula News, we would never hear what those in power or in big business are up to.
Think of the businesses which have been mis-using Job Keeper whilst others are suffering and will suffer still more after Job Keeper goes in March.
Do I just accept that this is how the human species bumbles along or can I still retain some hope?
It's up to us to make our voices heard.
Write to this Administrator and ask for answers.
After all that is what he is being paid for.
Also be careful what you wish for when making a decision about open spaces and libraries, versus a few dollars extra in rates.
Email, 29 Jan 2021
Margaret Lund, Woy Woy Bay