De­bate over spend­ing es­sen­tial

South Western Times - - Point Of View - Bren­dan Kelly, Bun­bury City Coun­cil

A re­cent South Western Times ed­i­to­rial “Ex­cit­ing time for city with projects on coun­cil’s radar” (Times, Nov 8) flagged the need for the Bun­bury City Coun­cil to com­plete busi­ness cases for ma­jor projects.

At the same time it cau­tioned that the coun­cil has a duty to con­sider the needs and de­sires of the en­tire com­mu­nity.

There is a vast dif­fer­ence be­tween needs and de­sires and it is vi­tal for all of Bun­bury to con­sider what is es­sen­tial, as op­posed to van­ity projects.

Of great lo­cal in­ter­est is the man­ner in which com­mu­nity lead­ers are imag­in­ing the big pic­ture, while the lit­tle peo­ple are left won­der­ing what’s in it for them.

At a lo­cal gov­ern­ment level, elected mem­bers must al­ways en­sure that the grass roots econ­omy and lo­cal neigh­bour- hood pri­or­i­ties are given prece­dence over the grandeur of mega dol­lar projects.

It is al­ways a worry when the City is per­ceived as spend­ing a lot of time work­ing on its glory box, while the ratepay­ers are more in­ter­ested in the value and qual­ity of ba­sic ser­vices.

Whereas it is true that nowa­days good lo­cal gov­ern­ment ser­vices in­volve a bit more than just roads, parks and rub­bish, they are still the es­sen­tials.

With a tight bud­get and the need to con­trol debt, it is im­por­tant that the City of Bun­bury spreads the ratepay­ers’ funds fairly across the sub­urbs.

As such, pub­lic de­bate over how, when and where to spend the dol­lars is more than just wel­comed, it is manda­tory.

Sports pavil­ion be­ing built at Hay Park in Bun­bury Au­gust 2015

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