IF BALLARAT City Council seeks to regain trust from residents, why is their 2015/2016 budget so vague, nonspecific and nonsensical?
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The current “city strategy” cost is burdening the ratepayers $600,000. A “policy and projects strategist” comes with a $1.4 million price tag (yet is projected to generate only $6000 in revenue) and a cool $1.6 million on “financial operations”.
We need full transparency and detailed costings freely available both in print and online if we are to stop our money being spent frivolously and unnecessarily.
- Rob Edward Smith, Ballarat North
IT IS good to see comments and articles being written regarding the excesses of expenditure by our council.
The council runs over 100 different services and employs over 800 people, yet we have more overseas trips now.
In the corporate world these days, companies save time and money by video conferencing, and in this way save the executives travel time and costs, and they become more efficient. With this electronic world, information is at our fingertips as are communications, so is there a no need to travel with the great expense and time incurred. Focus on what's important at home becoming a super-efficient council.
I am waiting to see the impact the new CEO has on the operation. Solomon Lew quoted just recently that walking the floor was a major part of his executives role these days in his retail business. Would be great to see our senior managers out on the streets finding out what's really going on.
Oh and by the way, why do we ignore the north west side of the lake for cleaning up? The islands and the back waters are a disgrace, overgrown with weeds and willows; come on, clean it up. In the early days, boats used to go around that area but can't now?
- Quinton Wilkinson, Lake Gardens
THE editorial (The Courier, April 12) stating that l was the Victorian finalist in the Barnardos Mother of the Year Awards and wishing me good luck was inspiring.
Your editorial highlighted the importance of mothers. It was so great to read that you believed: "Mums are often the unsung heroes of our lives". The article in The Courier also outlined my personal commitment to the Grandmothers Against the Detention of Refugee Children (GADRC) Ballarat. So when a young lady approached me at the races recently, l was overjoyed.
By way of explanation, the Ballarat Turf Club made a public presentation acknowledging the Victorian Mother of the Year award. They asked me to talk about Barnardos and also the Grandmothers group.
I explained that Barnardos Australia is a non-government, non-denominational charity which has been in the forefront of child protection for over 130 years. The purpose of the Barnardos Mother of the Year Awards is to publicly acknowledge the enormous contribution mothers make in shaping Australia's future through the role in nurturing children to help them realise their full potential.
I explained GADRC believed no child should be held in detention. Of special concern are the asylum seeker and refugee children and their families who are in Nauru. I explained l wore my purple GADRC badge every day as a symbol of solidarity with refugee and asylum-seeker children and their families.
So, l was touched when this young race-goer presented me with $100, saying it was the collected winnings from her table and they wanted to donate it to the GADRC.
I say thank you to The Courier, to the Ballarat community, to the Ballarat Turf Club and their generous punters and especially, thank you to our "unsung heroes".
Let's all remember: The reason why mothers rank so highly is that mothers shape the hearts of those who ultimately shape the world.
- Pauline McKenzie, OAM, Buninyong
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