Former councillors defend their actions

On behalf of six of the Central Goldfields Shire councillors dismissed by the Local Government Minister we read with interest Noel Harvey’s interview.

Some of the views and information presented by Mr Harvey were not only factually incorrect, but inflammatory.

This is not the first time that he has had a swipe at the ex-councillors, actually he seems to take a great deal of pleasure in doing so, but we feel that it is equally important to correct the information presented. 

We find it amazing that he again has so much to say about what has happened here in our shire prior to his Andrews’ state government appointment.

We were elected under a democratic process, although Mr Harvey seems to think that “democracy has not served our community well”. 

Does he think that our community was incapable of making decisions about who they would like to represent them? We don’t.

We were elected during what has been a long, stressful and extremely difficult Local Government investigation. That speaks volumes about our community.

Mr Harvey commented that they,  the administrators,  will make decisions “without worrying about popularity”.

Our decisions were based on consultation, on listening to our community, and surely as elected representatives that is what is expected of us - that we respond to the needs and values of our community. 

We all live, work and love our community and for Mr Harvey to state that we have had no sound economic development, just shows how much he doesn’t know about what we have been doing over the last few years.

 Manufacturing was lost to many areas all over Australia,  but we were able to secure True Foods, and Edlyn Foods, both of which have provided many jobs, and we worked hard towards keeping and supporting our printing industry, and more jobs for our residents.

We also worked hard, with our community to have the rail returned to the shire, and recently to have a second service. We have made concerted efforts over a number of years to progress our community, in many ways.

The advent of Go Goldfields, which has had some remarkable results, in early learning, speech development and family cohesion, to name just a few.

We also had a wonderful neighbourhood renewal program, championed by the late Joan Kirner, with devoted and professional workers which empowered many of the lower income residents and gave them hope and the confidence to speak up for themselves.

Finally Mr Harvey, you commented that the CFA  was ordered to do a planned burn on rubbish which was later found to contain asbestos.

We all know that councillors, according to the Local Government Act, are to have no part in operational matters. 

Mr Harvey knows very well that to a large degree we cannot speak out, but we will defend ourselves, we at least have that right.

So Mr Harvey, we wish you luck in your role, however we will be watching, as we really do care.

Paula Nixon, Chris Meddows-Taylor, Geoff Lovett,  Gerard Murphy, Bob Henderson and Helen Broad