Coming in under-budget on council operational costs is a pleasant …

Comment on Council: one third of budget still unspent by John Bell.

Coming in under-budget on council operational costs is a pleasant change from the councils down here in Mexico Melbourne south of the border.

Down here, more than a third of our Mayors are on salaries of in excess of $100,000 pa, have exorbitant annual budgets for councillors’ “professional development”(a euphemism for overseas junkets to climate change conferences and the like), impose dodgy extra rates for garbage bin collection to get around the rates cap, and rort their travel allowances.

I give Damien and councillors a glass half full tick for their operational costs.

If they could somehow go against the trend and use the operational surplus to ease the rates burden, the Alice council would set a gold standard that would put our councils down here to shame.

Recent Comments by John Bell

Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
@ Concerned Arrernte, @ Evelyne Roullet, @ Kathy: At the heart of the issue is the ceremony on Anzac Day.
Until all of us can come to an amicable agreement on how many flags to fly – and lower – at the dawn service, then perhaps the traditional Aussie ceremony can be transferred to say outside the Council Chambers. The Arrernte people then have a choice. They could continue with the one on Anzac Hill, or join in with the one on the lawns.


Fracking inquiry left me thankful, fearful, focused
@Rosalie Schultz. “If the Inquiry recommends a ban we’ll see energy transition – just like in SA and Victoria”
I doubt in reality you would want to experience the transition like down here in Vic and SA.
SA dangles perilously close to statewide blackouts relying on backup from a Vic power grid that is under incredible stress as Victorian households are paying the world’s highest power prices.
With no short term solution on the Labor Left Green SA and Vic government horizon.
Trust me on this one, it is a state of crisis for average punters down here in Mexico who have trouble making ends meet.
While the comfortably salaried soy latte-sipping Green control freak moralists of Lygon Street take in the morning sunshine at their trendy footpath cafes lecturing us “Suck it up,losers. We are doing this for your long term benefit”.
They say nothing when you ask them: Where are we going to get the money to pay our power bills right now? No answers forthcoming.


Sweet Country, a voice demanding to be heard
@Surprised. Yes. It is well acted. By the usual suspects eg Bryan Brown et al. I find that film directors go overboard though, directors’ licence, and tend to pander to public sentiment of the modern day at the expense of historical accuracy, the truth, the reality. Rabbit Proof Fence was an appalling example, the hurtful portrayal of O.A. Neville who was in real life a good man who did his very best for those little girls with the highest duty of care. As good as it is, Sweet Country still nowhere near as good as Jedda and The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, my opinion only.


Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
@ Evelyne Roullet. Yes. Could not agree more.
Used to meet Mrs Higgins at the gate, every year, at the sports on Bangtail Muster Day and at the gate at Traeger Park, for 31 years.
Wonderful memories of a great lady who put her heart and soul into all the kids of Alice. The Youth Centre and the Gap Centre. Great places.


Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
@ Evelyne Roullet. I bet that the late Mrs Joan Higgins, a WW2 nurse who nursed the wounded in Alice, and whose Youth Centre sits under the shade of ANZAC Hill where so many town kids came together for sport, would be looking down and smiling on your beaut idea.


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