Nillumbik budget ‘highlights’, 2017-18

I live in North Warrandyte. That means I’m stuck with Nillumbik Shire Council. This is the most expensive council in Victoria. We pay an obscene amount in rates. This year, the council boasts that it won’t raise rates. Yay.

This is also the same council that wants Residents to embed their houses in the bush despite the bushfire danger. Clearly, they don’t believe that Black Saturday can ever happen again. The proof is in the priority they place on bushfire mitigation. The following figures are taken directly from ‘Living in the landscape’, the Nillumbik Shire Council newsletter. The only change I’ve made is to sort the table by the cost. Have a look at this council’s priorities:

As you can see, $1,100,000 is considered more than enough for ’emergency management’ while a sporting redevelopment deserves almost twice as much at $1,795,000. I guess they figure that when a massive bushfire comes through again, we’ll all be dead and won’t be able to complain about their disregard for our health and safety.

Meeks

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

23 responses to “Nillumbik budget ‘highlights’, 2017-18

  • jilldennison

    Ah … now I understand … thank you for the clarification! I certainly understand your anger! It would seem they put the aesthetics of the neighborhood ahead of the welfare of the residents. Yes, California has much the same problem in years that there is little rain. And with the effects of climate change I imagine it will likely get worse everywhere. 😦

    Like

    • acflory

      Yes! Climate Change predictions for southeastern Australia are for more frequent and more severe bushfires. I sometimes feel as if our leaders all have their heads firmly buried in the sand, muttering “it won’t happen, it won’t happen…”

      Liked by 1 person

      • jilldennison

        Yes, many have their heads buried in the sand or up their … well, you know. Our government, in particular, has reversed course on environmental protections, as I’m sure you know, but I am encouraged that many people and businesses care enough to make changes on their own. California, especially, is moving forward with environmental protections in spite of the Trump administration. Sigh. How anybody can deny that it is a real threat to our very existence, I will never understand.

        Like

        • acflory

          It seems to be a conservative/right wing? mindset. We currently have a Liberal government here in Australia and it’s chock full of Climate Change deniers too. The PM used to be gung ho about the climate but he’s now had to kowtow to the right wing of his party to stay in power. I think /he/ makes me the maddest of all.

          Liked by 1 person

          • jilldennison

            Yes, I think the problem is that politicians … here, but probably in Australia also … are beholden to the wealthy, the big corporations, the very ones who stand to see a reduced bottom line in the face of environmental regulations. Since the destruction of earth is not likely to happen in their lifetimes, they find it somewhat easy to turn a blind eye and keep their big money supporters happy. They forget, however, that sooner or later we the voters will have an opportunity to send them a message. If, that is, we the voters take the time and effort to learn, to educate ourselves, rather than simply listen to what the politicos tell us.

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          • acflory

            Yeah, as always, short term thinking for a long term problem. I fear that most voters won’t educate themselves about the problem until it slaps them in the face personally. Sadly, we humans aren’t very good at seeing past the ends of our collective noses. 😦

            Liked by 1 person

          • jilldennison

            This is true. And even when we do see, we forget quickly. 😦

            Like

  • jilldennison

    I have to ask this, as not living in Australia, I am a bit ignorant, but what does it mean to “embed their houses in the bush”? I think I understood everything but that, and I am always curious. 🙂

    Like

    • acflory

      Mmmm….I live in a fringe suburb where the blocks are generally very big and the feel is ‘country’. When we build, we’re allowed to cut down just enough trees for the house, and we’re ‘encouraged’ to plant native vegetation up to and around the house as well. The idea is to hide the houses. But. Almost all native vegetation in Australia evolved to reproduce through fire, thus everything burns very well. In 2009 – Black Saturday – 181 people died as a result of a massive bushfire. The suburb in which I live dodged the bullet, but not by much. Hence my anger.

      Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      p.s. I believe California has a lot of eucalypts as well, and a lot of ‘wild fires’? I think that’s the term you use over there.

      Liked by 1 person

  • DawnGillDesigns

    Do you have anything like ‘freedom of information ‘ legislation? Here if something like that is sent out with no explanatory notes (i guess the comments are yours) we can send an FoI request and the public body is obligated to reply, fully to it. When our LAs send the proposed spending plans out with the council tax (equivalent to rates) information each March there’s a leaflet explaining.

    Like

    • acflory

      Yes, we have FoI too and the summary came with a newletter but most of that was about the ‘goodies’ being handed out. If I thought that investigating further would do any good I might do it, but this council is notorious and I’m no Don Quixote. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  • HonieBriggs

    Maybe it’s time to start electing robots. They don’t need a salary. Here’s an article you might like.http://www.outerplaces.com/science/item/15974-robot-jobs-unemployment-ai

    Like

    • acflory

      Brilliant article, thanks. 🙂 Unfortunately, the bit at the very end talks about the continuing need for humans in jobs that require a ‘people person’. As people excel at bull$hit, the job of politician seems assured. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  • The Pink Agendist, née Mr. Merveilleux

    That’s not even 1/10th of the Kardashian STD treatment/Bushfire budget!

    Like

  • anne54

    It makes you wonder where the councillors actually live. If you were a councillor how would you spend the money for bush fire prevention? Would it be in physical things (tree maintenance, evacuation centres etc) or is education of residents more important? Or something else?

    Like

    • acflory

      I have absolutely no idea what even that palty sum is spent on, and given the huge size of the shire I’m guess my ‘share’ of prevention probably amounts to $10? Less?
      The Andrews govt is paying for the heavy duty powerlines that will, supposedly, be less dangerous. The Andrews govt is also paying for some kind of expansion to the Warrandyte bridge. Can’t see anything else happening so what is my Council doing with my rates to make me safer?….-rude noise-

      Like

  • Candy Korman

    I’m confused and concerned! They WANT residents to “embed” their homes in the bush? Isn’t that asking for a disaster? It doesn’t make sense. I live in a completely different—and thoroughly urban—environment, and even I know that the kind of plants surrounding a house can make the difference between going up in flames and surviving.

    Like

    • acflory

      Spot on. 😦
      Our bush evolved to burn and does it very nicely, so people probably shouldn’t be here at all. But no people = no rates so Council gives planning approvals but with a twist. They want our area to stay as ‘natural’ as possible. Therefore the houses should ‘disappear’ so as not to ruin the appearance of the place, or destroy too much native habitat. It’s called having your cake and eating it too. Sadly, Residents are the ones that pay the price.
      Apologies. I am so bitter about this council. 😦

      Like

  • davidprosser

    I see children’s(?) playgrounds have a fair bit spent on them too.There won’t be many kids left to play on them if nothing is done towards their safety at home.
    xxx

    Like

    • acflory

      One of the many ironies of this council is that it loves spending money on playgrounds and reserves, but both are chock full of native plants that burn. They’re designed to be little pockets of ‘nature’. So when big nature burns, little nature burns as well.

      Like

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