Take the gag off our great city
GRRRR! Can someone please explain why every politician we elect — except Geelong councillors — can have the basic human right of free speech?
That’s right, free speech. Democratic free speech. But not here in Geelong. Why? Because Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews is terrified Geelong’s councillors might somehow threaten his terrible government’s chances of re-election.
As if he hasn’t done enough damage on that front himself. The CFA, the billion-dollar East-West Link fiasco, the desal plant we don’t need, Labor MP expenses scandals, Labor MP cash for branch stacks, Safe Schools, Hazelwood … you know the story.
Now, his appointees running the City of Greater Geelong like a totalitarian state are cracking down on future councillors speaking on any key city announcements, controversial matters or council outcomes without prior approval of the mayor. What!? Your future democraticallyelected representatives — after your previous democraticallyelected representatives were sacked — are going to be gagged.
Where the hell does Daniel Andrews think we’re living … communist Russia, Red China, North Korea? Maybe some tinpot banana republic dictatorship?
What on earth makes him think he has the right to talk but other politicians don’t?
This is outrageous. It is an abuse of power, a politically-motivated assault on free speech. It is a blatant attempt to serve his own Labor Party’s self-interest.
Make no mistake, Daniel Andrews is panic-stricken about political opponents in Geelong. And he doesn’t want any opponents that might emerge from a new council talking him, his government or his policies down.
Geelong is crucial to any state or federal government’s chances of winning office. Lose Geelong and you’re all but guaranteed of losing the election.
That’s why he sacked the council where I served as mayor on trumped-up charges of poor governance and bullying.
But guess what? Our books were good, unemployment was falling dramatically, investment was powerful, positive publicity for the city had never been higher — yep, pretty poor governance.
And another thing, he’s never named the council bullies. Not even under the coward’s castle privilege of Parliament.
Funny how there’s been a mass exit of senior staffers from City Hall, though. Wonder how many got fat packages to clear out? Didn’t happen to the councillors.
Come on, Daniel Andrews, don’t try telling Geelong it has to shut up.
Geelong needs its voice more than ever now.
It needs that voice to shout down the assault on free speech, the political abuses of power and the obvious self-interest coming out of Spring St.
But wait, it gets worse. Not only does Daniel Andrews want to shut up your councillors, he’s appointing two henchmen — sorry, one of them is a hench woman — to supposedly restore good governance.
Obviously frustrated that he couldn’t keep his commissioners in and put the election off, he’s now putting Jude Munro and Peter Dorling in as school prefects. It’s about the cheapest, most transparent, political stunt possible.
Jude was on the commission of inquiry that ultimately turfed out the council. And for God’s sake, Peter Dorling is one of the commissioners.
And Geelong do you believe they are being paid $1200 per day of your money to be mature, elected councillors’ babysitters?
This is beyond the realms of unbelievable and an absolute disgrace and insult to every decent ratepayer in the community of Geelong.
These kind of actions from the Andrews government beggars belief and that’s why they need to be sacked at the next election for wasting your money.
He’s been welded at the hip forever to the big end of town that Geelong needs to escape if it’s ever going to get anywhere.
Oh, did anyone notice how the commissioners will almost triple Geelong council’s debt over the next four years, from $45 million to $125 million?
That’s called creating a political liability in Geelong. It will suit Labor in the lead-up to the 2022 state election after it’s thrown out of office next year.
It’s an old political trick when you’re on the nose … lump the incoming government with as much debt as you possibly can.
Geelong is being set up to fail. It’s deplorable.