Re: Ranges submits campus plan
While Yarra Ranges Council is trying to retain post-secondary education within the outer east, its lack of community consultation on this master plan was apparent when it presented its grand vision at the community forum. The wish to build a convention centre at the site was a bolt out of the blue. It was clear at this meeting that the community's first concern was to retain the education facility in its current form. While tiptoeing around the political football, the council refused to admit that without the funding being restored it will be difficult to entice another provider to the site. We need to insist that the state government block the sale of the Lilydale campus and reinstate TAFE funding so providers are able to run the facility as it was designed to run.
Peter Harris (via web)
Re: Sharp split over rate rises
Concerning the request to reveal membership of any political lobby group — cut the guys some slack, maybe they're yet to work out a 'position'. What voters need is someone who does something about the incessant, unjustifiable rate rises. It must be understood that successive councils have taken pleasure in empire building, competing to place after their names the greatest sums of expenditure possible. The result is that some of the residents are experiencing rate demands that will ultimately drive us off our land. Just consider the following: current budget documents reveal average rate rises from 2007 to 2016 that compound to an effective rise of 70 per cent.
But let's not put the cart before the horse. The rate rises are derived from the budget. The budget is derived from the wish-list of staff and councillors. Before we talk about what we are going to do about the rates, we must reassess the spending patterns and seek justification for the big ticket items then the expenditure such as the carbon reduction initiative with $4.75 million in allocations over the current budget, and the capital works plan. Something's got to give.
Don Di Battista, candidate for Billanook ward and Lisa Di Battista, candidate for Walling ward, both of Lilydale (via web)