Community deserves explanation
TORCH Newspaper – 06/02/2002
WHY exactly is it, that bureaucrats and politicians have selective memory problems? Is it because they have a genuine medical problem or is it their continual need to try to look good before the general public.
Cr Stromborg’s stance on issues that could see further expansion of Bankstown Airport is far too late and reeks of political grandstanding at its best. Our councillors have short memories after their verbal abuse towards three local residents, who addressed council’s proposal for a land swap agreement in April 1999.
Given three minutes and twenty seconds each to put their cases forward for the protection of this threatened ecological bushland Sonya Makay (Bankstown Airport Community Environment Forum), Irene Jones (Bankstown Bushland Society) and myself, were subject to a barrage of abuse from most of the councillors.
Cr Stromborg’s position as Mayor at that time, afforded him the privilege of calling all councillors to order, yet he failed to stop the onslaught. His 360 degree turnaround, reeks of hypocrisy and the calling for community support on this issue, is a complete insult.
The continual criticism, ridicule and ignoring of genuine community environment groups is no way, for the council and individual councillors to have enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers jump on their political band wagons.
Very few councillors attended any of the twelve community meetings held by B.A.C.E.F. over many years. As other developmental issues arose, aside from the airport, comments from Cr Stromborg published in local newspapers such as, “I do not take anything Gary Blaschke says seriously” has exposed how much this councillor appreciates voluntary community involvement in the local government issues.
The airport slip road issue alone, has had Cr Stromborg publish comments that fully supported this proposal. Comments such as “Mayor Ian Stromborg said it would provide much needed land for future extension of Bankstown basketball stadium, as well as enable construction of a slip road to the Aviation Museum from Milperra Road.”
“Cr Stromborg said the concerns about the regenerated bushland on the serve through which the slip road was to be constructed were unfounded.”
Cr Stromborg’s obvious dislike towards environmental activists who disagree with his own misinformed opinions, should not cloud his judgment on issues that threaten the well-being of Bankstown City and its residents. Environmentalists dedicate their own time and finances to the protection of our heritage and his and other councillors continual bad feelings towards them only add to Bankstown’s dilemmas.
It is now time for me to make a stance and Cr Stromborg and his cohorts can only receive my environmental support on this issue, by announcing publicly why the surprising turnaround and placing a written apology to Sonya McKay, Irene Jones and myself in the local tabloids.
Something is in the wind and the citizens of
Bankstown deserve and explanation. Very few citizens, on the evidence available, will ever trust the ill informed and political bias judgments by this council, unless they are seen to be working for their constituents and treat them with some common respect.
Council’s attitudinal problems need a complete overhaul. Learning to embrace their locals with expertise and knowledge is one step that may make amends. If not the citizens of Bankstown may learn of many more of council’s monumental mistakes of the past.
Environmental & Community Activist.