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
These are the values I have followed for the budget over this financial year. It’s important to note that your Council has never sought an additional levy on our residents. More than most governments, your Council spends your rates in a responsible and prudent manner. I always question the benefit to residents from activities of council. And importantly we constrain the bureaucracy of council. This is the single most important driver of costs for any government. It is not just the wages; it is mostly the cost of the activities that they generate.
Also, it is a priority of Council that the organisation respects and is responsive to our residents. So many governments use fines as a means to supplement their revenues. It is insidious and wrong. Your council opposes this approach. We do not engage in using fines for revenues. We monitor fines on residents to ensure it is used as a last resort and that it is kept to a minimum. You might know that The Hills Shire Council does not have paid parking and in addition has possibly the lowest council rates in Australia relative to the value of your property. This is your council representing its residents.
As this pandemic continues, I hope everyone stays safe. I am especially mindful of workers in the private sector and small business owners who have shouldered much of the economic impact. We must remember that we can’t prosper if we don’t produce. My thoughts are with you all.