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Councillor Column – 4 June 2024 – Greg Armstrong

Jun 7, 2024

For Immediate Release 4 June 2024
Authorised by Councillor Greg Armstrong

In September 2024 Local Government Elections will be held throughout New South Wales. Voting is mandatory so everyone is afforded an opportunity to select and elect the candidate that they prefer to represent them at Council.

I would urge all electors in the Hilltops to review the form of all candidates, as many candidates will have the ability to make great claims as to their achievements and abilities to shape policy for the benefit of the community, when in fact they may have achieved very little from a community perspective, contributed very little to policy formation and shirked participation opportunities in Workshops and information sessions where their understanding of matters could be vastly expanded. Such candidates are often referred to as a “dead loss”, for the meager value of any participation and contribution is considered to be hollow and largely valueless. Sadly, the self promotion of candidates is not reliable measure of future performance or value to the community and should be tested at every opportunity with real, factual questions and not half –truths, rumours and hear-say.

The difficulty that we all face is universal and yet quite simple…how do we work out who will best represent our interests and the interests of the electorate?

I have formed the view that the way forward with this conundrum is best managed through parochial selection of candidates. Quite simply, if you live in Young or the bounds of the former Young Shire…vote for candidates who have a primary affiliation with the town of Young.

If you live in Harden-Murrumburrah or within the bounds of the former Harden Shire…vote for candidates who have a primary affiliation with the township of Harden-Murrumburrah.

And, if you live in Boorowa or within the bounds of the former Boorowa Shire…vote for candidates who have a primary affiliation with the township of Boorowa.

There will be those who will disagree with my logic, and that is their right, just as it is my right to espouse my views on the matter.

The public consultation period for the 2024-2025 Draft Hilltops Council Budget remains open until 5pm 21st June 2024. I urge all members of the Hilltops Community to make a comment or ask a question regarding the Draft Budget, Draft Fees and Charges, Draft Revenue Policy and Draft Operational Plan. Perhaps you would like to comment on the 30% increase on waste charges, or the 5% increase in water access charges and water consumption charges or the 10.5% increase in the Fees and Charges.

Despite all the increases proposed, Council is projected to suffer a consolidated deficit (before Grants for Capital) of $4.4 million with the General Fund projected to suffer a deficit (before Grants for Capital) of $6,962,501.

Your comments are awaited on the Hilltops website on the “Have Your Say” page. I have been rather blunt in this Councillor Column – I do not apologise, but I do urge the community to do something about the black hole that is well developed at Hilltops Council.

Cheers – stay safe and stay well.
Greg Armstrong