Lo­cal gov­ern­ment’s role should have its lim­its

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion -

I AM some­what flat­tered by Mr Colin Latchem com­par­ing me to Mar­garet Thatcher in his let­ter in last week’s edi­tion – even though his rea­sons are wrong; af­ter all the Iron Lady did save Eng­land from fi­nan­cial ruin and staunchly de­fended its sovereignty.

The para­mount re­mit of the City of Ned­lands Coun­cil is to en­sure the City pro­vides high qual­ity, cost-ef­fi­cient ser­vices for ratepay­ers. Ned­lands ad­min­is­tra­tion does this very well in­deed and I am pleased to sup­port my coun­cil col­leagues, the ad­min­is­tra­tion and most im­por­tantly, elec­tors in this es­sen­tial role.

For ex­am­ple, Ned­lands has one of the best, cost-ef­fi­cient rub­bish/re­cy­cling ser­vices in WA.

Un­for­tu­nately, the one im­por­tant ex­cep­tion to the rule is the Town Plan­ning Scheme. Ned­lands should have had a new scheme some 20 plus years ago and ratepay­ers have been forced to en­dure the out­dated TPS2 for many years, de­spite the com­mu­nity strongly en­dors­ing changes 10 years ago.

I am also pleased to sup­port the many projects un­der­taken by the City to pro­mote a “sense of com­mu­nity” and the natural beauty of our city.

How­ever, I do not ac­cept that lo­cal gov­ern­ment should in­ter­fere with prop­erty rights any more than is es­sen­tial. Nor should it en­gage in so­cial engi­neer­ing that tells us how to live our lives, or forces po­lit­i­cal opin­ions on ratepay­ers.

The pro­cliv­ity of lo­cal gov­ern­ment to in­trude into this space is very di­vi­sive and un­der­mines the per­sonal choices and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of cit­i­zens.

Some per­sons may think lo­cal gov­ern­ment should have wider role in so­ci­ety but in my view the elec­torate would not ac­cept this premise if they were prop­erly in­formed of the con­se­quences. John Wether­all, Ned­lands.

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