DID YOU GET THE MESSAGE??
The only possible conclusions are that during the council’s first consideration of the draft plan the councilors representing the effected areas either:
· didn’t read the draft, or
· didn’t understand it, or
· didn’t really give much thought to the interests of the people they are representing, or
· continue to believe that everything the Mayor and staff serve up to them is OK.
None of these is a satisfactory performance from OUR Councilors.
Try to do better this time please.
Ken Park -RECLAIM CABOOLTURE SHIRE INC
COUNCILLOR MILLAR'S CALCULATOR
Is Cr Bob Millar really the MBRC spokesman on Corporate Services? He and his advisers must surely know that debt or borrowing is never calculated as a percentage of assets; it is expressed as a percentage of income. That figure indicates the ability to service and repay the loan. Ask any bank or mortgagee.
It’s good to note that the State treasury Corporation thinks that you are doing such a great job. Is that the same Treasury Corporation that wants to sell off all our assets and over-estimated the cost of de-amalgamating regional councils by 250 percent? For a change, how about asking us ratepayers how we feel about having to pay off your $396 million debt.
Next time Cr Millar wants a debate on Council’s finances, we might start on the “Sutherland”
Ken Park -R.C.S.Inc.
UNITY WATER COMMENT - KEN PARK REPLIES!
Mr Martin Dore suggests that the excessive profits paid by UnityWater to the Regional Councils enables them to keep their rates down.
Sorry Martin, the profits received from UnityWater simply enables these councils to lose all sense of restraint, responsibility and good husbandry.
In the case of Moreton Bay regional Council it has enabled them to contribute $110M towards a state-owned railway, to buy land for the “Sutherland” university, to pave the streets of Redcliffe with gold and to pay themselves the second highest salaries in Australia.
The elimination of profits from UW would merely force our mega-council to return to the real world.
In most council managed water and sewerage schemes throughout Australia there is no profit distribution whatsoever-indeed in schemes that I have managed many years ago, water and sewerage funds were required by law to be stand alone with no transfer of profits, or losses, to the council’s general funds.
Perhaps in another letter I will ridicule the other major component of our bills: the massive interest payments from UW to the participating councils.
Charging ourselves interest on assets that we already owned is an interesting, and expensive, concept.
Mr Dore’s other ideas [reducing depreciation rates on flood mitigation projects, forcing developers to pay the full costs of head works, restricting developments in the Moreton Bay catchment] are all commendable; but of little relevance I fear to my water and sewerage bill.
WATER CORRUPTION - N.S.W. - OUR FUTURE?
PRIVATISATION - SELLING OFF COMMUNITY ASSETS!
Is said to be a good thing !!
Is said to create great savings for the people!!
- Just like in NSW???
- Australian Water Holdings Pty Ltd is handed a lot of work from Sydney Water, on a sort of “cost plus” basis. (Queensland Water Holdings - subsidiary).
- (Allegedly Corrupt) Eddie Obeid and family own 30% of the company.
- The CEO, a lawyer, was paid $1.0M in his first year, plus a guaranteed $250,000 annual bonus.
- Chairman, now Senator Arthur Sinodinos can’t remember anything about his company’s financial dealings…..
- including the donation to the NSW Liberals, of which he just happened to be Treasurer.
- Water and sewerage management is big money with lots of opportunities for wheeling and dealing.
- There was little opportunity for corruption when LOCAL COUNCILS were managing Queenslands' water and sewerage ASSETS!
- Professional pollies were kept at arms length!!
- Why? -Local Press, Ratepayers and Auditors were constantly scrutinising councilactions!!
- Constantly looking over their shoulders.
- QUEENSLAND TAKE NOTE!!! Ken Park - Vise Chairman R.C.S.Inc.
NOTICE TO SITTING MEMBERS - LETTER TO PUMICESTONE MEMBER
I am writing to you as one of the Honourable Members representing part of the area served by UnityWater.
On 12th March a public forum was hosted by Hon Lisa France MP at Bribie Island to discuss the price of water and sewerage services. Minister Mark McArdle, MBRC Mayor Alan Sutherland and UnityWater Chairman, Jim Soorley attended. The meeting had been postponed from a most convenient 2PM on a Saturday to an inconvenient 6PM on a Wednesday. Nevertheless A CAPACITY CROWD of 500 angry ratepayers attended.
My report to Lisa France is below and I hope that it will interest you. The anger against UnityWater, its Board and its senior staff; against the two regional councils and against the state government was BIG. My distinct impression is that the remainder of the UnityWater customers are also very angry. This was before the further 3.5% increase announced by the CEO this week! This has become a real election issue.
Ms France has suggested in response that UnityWater has nothing to do with the state government.
I have referred her to the South East Queensland [Distribution and Retail Restructuring] Act 2009, by which the state government created and regulates UnityWater. Mark McArdle is the responsible minister for this Act. UnityWater was not created by the regional councils out of thin air or at the whim of the regional mayors.
Whether you like it or not, UnityWater is now universally hated; most of the blame is credited to the state government and some major changes are needed before the next state election. Please consider. Yours faithfully, Ken Park Secretary
RECLAIM CABOOLTURE SHIRE INC
Hon Lisa France MP
Thank you for hosting the water price forum at Bribie Island on Wednesday 12th March. I am particularly grateful because it boosted the membership of our association and publicised our goals. Thank you also for providing this rare opportunity to present the views of the people to government.
It was a memorable occasion in many ways and we wonder what conclusions you reached and what, if any actions your government intends to take. We do have a full tape recording and video of the complete meeting if you wish to refresh your memory on any matters. My own conclusions, if you are interested are:
- · The turnout, given that the meeting was held at the most inconvenient time conceivable, was ample evidence that these are serious issues in the electorate, and that they are important election issues.
- · The passion and at times venom displayed by an elderly audience who are normally quite restrained indicates the strength and depth of feeling on these issues.
- · It was absolutely clear that Mr Jim Soorley no longer has the respect of any of the UnityWater [UW] customers. The talk-back audience during my subsequent extensive interview on ABC Sunshine Coast clearly showed that this is not just a local thing.
- · The people clearly indicated by loud and repeated acclamation that they demand the sacking of Mr Soorley and his whole board.
- · The people clearly indicated that they want water and sewerage returned to LOCAL local government and for UW to be disbanded.
- · The people want their elected councillors to take charge of water and sewerage and to be accountable to the ratepayers.
- · Nobody was interested in the costs of doing these things-either the true cost or the fictitious costs pedalled by some people. The message is JUST DO IT.
- · It was universally recognised that the creation of UW was yet another undesirable by-product of council amalgamations. Everybody who spoke compared the 2007 water/sewerage situation with today’s sad situation.
- · There is much disquiet about the huge profits and huge interest charges which together account for half of our bills.
So, we are interested to know if you and the Minister received the same messages and if so, what plan is in train to meet the clear instructions of the electorate.
We were particularly disappointed to hear the Minister say that despite the clear message he has no plans to disband UW. His plan to create a “consultative committee” to make the failed system work better [shades of Crisafulli] is something that I thought was not worthy of Mark McArdle’s high reputation
I see it as a complete waste of time until all of the dot points in this letter are on the table. However, a number of our members have offered their services in the full knowledge that the committee’s life will be very short indeed if he fails to hear the big message from the forum.
There are clear election message coming from this forum. The next election may not be between the LNP and the ALP but between the LNP and the people of Queensland.
The ALP and PUP have not been slow to recognise these trends, and I am in communication with both.
You will have heard Yvette d’Ath’s maiden speech and the anti UW and pro de-amalgamation electorate speeches she has been making post the Redcliffe by-election. You will be aware that our candidate Thomas had only two policies [the same two now promoted by Yvette] and his preferences determined the outcome.
Let me return to Jim Soorley’s position and tenure. During the forum I mentioned in my address [quoting from UW’s annual report signed by Soorley] that UW made a profit of $91563000 in 2012/13.
He leapt to his feet and claimed that UW made no profit whatsoever! We have his statement on tape and video. This was a deliberate lie intended to discredit me.
I am writing separately to the Minister and the two regional mayors demanding his immediate dismissal.
It is unacceptable for a person in his position to make such deliberately misleading statements in public and to slander a member of the public.
In a personal email I gave him a way out by apologising and withdrawing publicly on air or, if he holds to this fiction, to publicly debate me on air. He, of course has not responded.
He is not a fit person to hold any office, let alone one from which the public cannot remove him.
We are looking forward to again telling the public and the government our opinions on UW and the regional councils when we next have the opportunity at Arana Hills.
These issues will not go away while Ministers McArdle and Crisafulli refuse to listen.
We do hope that they are aware of how many traditional Labor seats, now held marginally by the LNP, are within the area controlled by UW.
Again we have to plead with you as our elected representative to represent us.
Ken Park - Secretary
RECLAIM CABOOLTURE SHIRE INC
COUNCIL RATES - SKY HIGH - WATER RATES - HIGHEST IN AUSTRALIA
When will he cancel this obscene pay rise for state MPs? CAN’T DO!
When will he force down the prices of water and electricity, as promised? CAN’T DO!
When will he investigate the alleged misconduct of Mayor Alan Sutherland? CAN’T DO!
When will he chuck out Scott Driscoll and let the people of Redcliffe vote in a real MP? CAN’T DO!
When will he give the people of Caboolture and Redcliffe a vote, as promised, to get their own councils back? CAN’T DO!
Just remind me again why I voted for you, Mr “CAN DO” Campbell Newman.
FROM DIRECTOR KEN PARK -
ADDRESS TO: Moreton Bay Shire Council Meeting 18/6/2013
On 18th June Vice Chairman Ken Park addressed the Moreton Bay Regional Council for five minutes in the Community Comment Session of the General Meeting held at Caboolture.
He was supported by twelve members of Caboolture and Redcliffe deamalgamation groups.
To their credit, the councillors received the dressing down with courtesy, dignity and full attention.
That is understandable because Ken doesn’t need a microphone on matters that he is passionate about.
The address was simply about democracy.
In the address Ken reminded councillors about the lack of democracy in the original council amalgamations and also in the continuing refusal of the present government to allow referendums for all areas that want their own councils back.
Despite these setbacks to democracy; it is not dead, Ken promised, WE WILL BREATHE LIFE BACK INTO IT!
He compared the council amalgamations to the water and electricity amalgamations which also failed completely to deliver the promised savings and service improvements.
Councillors who so strongly opposed amalgamations but now support them were given a loud and clear “PLEASE EXPLAIN”.
He challenged all councillors to reconsider doing what democracy demands: GIVE THE PEOPLE A VOTE.
Ken Park. Vice President R.C.S.Inc.