Kyle’s Rant

April 1st, 2024Kyle’s Rant

Warning: The first three paragraphs of this editorial will probably put you to sleep!

Warning: The first three paragraphs of this editorial will probably put you to sleep!

Hepburn Shire Council has seven councillors elected every four years by the community to represent them on local public issues. They represent five wards. Birch and Creswick wards each have two councillors while Cameron, Coliban and Holcombe wards each have one councillor.

That was until the Minister for Local Government announced a new electoral structure for Hepburn Shire. The extensive report, found down the back of the Google where the elephants go to die, reveals a panel held an online public hearing for those wishing to speak about their response submission at 10am on Wednesday, April 26, last year.

Now, maybe I didn’t want to get involved or maybe I like to keep things the way they are, with an ‘if it ain’t broke’ kind of attitude, but for whatever reason it slipped my radar, unlike the Hepburn Shire locals who had their say, including the 19 preliminary submitters.

And then there were the 34 response submitters and don’t forget the three people who spoke at the public hearing. Follow the QR code below and checkout the riveting argy-bargy on page 24 of the document.

(But this is what I love about our region, we punch above our weight in folks trying for continuous improvement. To this matter I must admit I was asleep at the wheel while true public sentiment helped to shape our future.)

Now my nap at the helm is because it is boring, and after many punches in the gut I feel powerless, which makes me no longer give a good God damn. I do appreciate the folks who have taken an interest in the situation, as it has relieved me of my civic duty in doing the same.

But honestly, will it ensure my bloody bin gets picked up on schedule so I don’t have to take my rubbish and recyclables to the tip every other bin day? Or will it help fund the constant wheel balances from the potholes, or my skyrocketing rates bill?

I think not and at the end of the day I believe the council is there to provide the municipal services of roads, rates and rubbish. The councillors roles are to air out their respective community’s interests, and draw the attention of the council to those interests as a body through a democratic vote.

In plain speak it’s just meant to be a few well-meaning folks spotlighting community issues for the council to attend to and those folks get a little bit of coin for their troubles. A very little bit.

A big reason for my fogginess and not giving a toss attitude when it comes to HSC matters is that I can’t get past the last few years of financial blunders.

We must have some hideous sized holes in the books from things like the Daylesford Rex débâcle and now the rehoming of HSC staff to God knows where for 18 months or more so the town hall can be tidied up and maybe turned into a hub. And this was what The Rex project was meant to be in the first place.

There doesn’t seem to be any accountability because the faces have changed, people have moved on and the memory of the community gets dulled by time. My noodle scratching and propensity to run into the streets in my underwear and yell “I give up” goes even deeper.

After almost two and a half years I have managed to secure a planning permit to lop off a bit of land.

The property in question is a flat piece of land with zero substantial overlays in a township zone and the tiny subdivision was given the green light ages ago by Goulburn Murry Water. No wonder I have given up.

Just do the job rant over…

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