It is an honour and a privilege to represent the residents of the Hills Shire. The support from the community has been overwhelming and very humbling. The values I bring to council are;
- Financial prudence
- Less bureaucracy
- Less regulation
- Responsible governance
Change is coming to our shire. The rail line will have an enormous impact on our residents with increased density in the form of units, traffic and of course parking. I put a motion to Council to have our officers look into parking for our residents. With very limited parking spaces being made available, I want to ensure that priority goes to our residents. A report is being prepared giving options for us to achieve this goal. I look forward to receiving this report.
We are a growth Shire. Very few areas in Australia are experiencing the growth that we have in The Hills. Development and the impact of development is a very serious issue. Residents concerned about inappropriate development have been alarmed to learn that Councillors now have no role at all in assessing and approving development applications. Residents want to be able to take their concerns to elected representatives who can act on their behalf.
However in the planning process, Councillors have been taken out and replaced by appointed bureaucratic planning panels. Elected Councillors have even been banned from being on these panels. It is especially painful to have a person appointed to panels that is deemed to be a local representative. Isn’t that what elected councillors are? With the recent State election, I would hope the new parliament will make it a priority to restore local planning powers to Councils so we can go back to having elected representatives actually representing the interests of our local community. Appointed faceless bureaucrats just do not have the community interest at heart.
I would like to end with congratulations to my colleague and friend Clr De Masi for the recent marriage of his daughter. It was the most spectacular and beautiful wedding I’ve ever attended and just proves to me that Italians know how to have fun. Congratulations Frank and Sarah.