[LINK] Local government
Wed, 27 Sep 2000 18:01:16 +0930
Bill D'Arcy wrote:
> I think that saying all rate payers are interested in is roads and garbage
> is a put down of people who see local government as central to their
> governance and a key to stimulating sustainable regional economic activity.
It's also fair to say that local government in Australia
is a lot less significant then elsewhere. For example,
in some countries they are responsible for policing and
Even so, John Birmingham's latest book "Leviathan, an
unauthorised biography of Sydney" makes the point that
local government is actually the important government as
far as people are concerned.
Birmingham's theory is that local government never really got
the powers that it would have under the normal application of
the Westminster System as that would not have allowed the 'mates'
of the state government to prosper.
[ His book goes on to give a 'mates list' dating from Macarthur
of the Rum Rebellion through to Newman's assassination
so that a 'mate' could get his ALP seat. A strongly
recommended entertaining read, and good value as it's
about half a brick thick. ]
Even now, we see the NSW state government particularly
running over decisions of councils where they don't
meet with the government's gung-ho view of property
development and gambling machinery.
The NSW government even got involved in overriding a
garbage collection decision when it sided with McDonalds
to prevent it being charged for the collection of its
waste from the roadside.
So now we have the odd situation where McDonalds pays
if its rubbish is placed in its bins where it is easily
and cheaply collected, but doesn't pay if its rubbish
is scattered about the urban environment, where it is
difficult and expensive to collect. Hmmm.