Mayor Pickard, the issues remain


Mayor Pickard has not  argued his case for City of Joondalup rates  convincingly.
Mayor Pickard has not argued his case for City of Joondalup rates convincingly.

FIRST off, I thank Mayor Troy Pickard for his comprehensive response to my letter in last week’s edition.

While I concur in that our rate increases of 2.5 per cent for 2016-17 was the lowest we have seen in years, the increases were still way above the inflation rate.

However, that was not my issue and does not detract from the reality in that our rates always have been and remain prohibitively high.

Should Mayor Pickard feel our rates and service charges are at acceptable levels, may I suggest a public opinion poll to gauge precisely the sentiments of the general public as in my circle the general consensus is that our rates charges are excessive.

If rates were so realistic as implied, why do we have so many payment options and “early bird” rates prize draws?

The Water Corporation has a winter ban on the use of all domestic sprinklers, regardless of whether the owner/occupant has a bore. This includes businesses, local governments, public and private schools, golf courses, government departments, large parks, universities, Tafe campuses and race grounds.

Outside the winter restriction period, we are expected to be responsible and ensure our sprinkler systems do not operate while raining. It would appear Joondalup council is exempt as it often does not comply, and nor is it responsible as I have often witnessed sprinkler systems working at maximum capacity while it is pouring with rain.

We have a “turf war” whereby the Water Corporation wants to ban all verge lawns but in the process has attracted a barrage of retaliation.

It appears the council is also opposed to the Water Corporation proposals as it continues to install verge sprinkler systems unabated.

That we have an “active, connected and engaged community as a result of extensive public consultation and engagement strategies” is simply not true.

When it came to the construction of new community facilities and refurbishments in my area, I was never consulted, nor invited to participate by providing any feedback.

Nor were my neighbours or anybody else in the entire street or vicinity approached.

Just days prior to commencement of the upgrades and refurbishments, we were informed by way of a flyer that pending works were about to commence.

As far as white elephants go, I extend an open invitation to Mayor Pickard to accompany me on a brief tour so that I can highlight these white elephants he summarily dismisses.

While he suggests “tens of thousands who have enjoyed the use of these facilities would find it offensive if they are labelled as under-used and as white elephants”, I am equally convinced the same numbers would be just as offended having discovered gross wastage of ratepayers’ cash, and resources.

JOHN C. CUSSONS, Hillarys.