After three weeks in WA, Ernesto is back, to brighten your day!
Who remembers the last Shepparton City Council elections?
Can you remember electioneering material featuring a photo of a candidate in Hi-Vis, wearing a hard hat and pretending to take an angle grinder to a parking meter?
Pretty powerful stuff that.
Well that candidate was duly elected and is now deputy mayor but the parking meters are far from cut off and removed, in fact they are still there doing their best to hinder the vibrancy of the CBD.
I get that we can't have unlimited free parking in the CBD, time limits must apply otherwise those that work in the CBD would hog all the parks making it difficult for shoppers.
I get that the cost of enforcement needs to be offset by revenue from somewhere (in this case the meter revenue).
But what I can't understand is how a council, who's deputy mayor stood and got elected on a platform of removing the CBD's parking meters, can make a decision that has made the parking meters even more of an impediment to shopping in the Shepparton CBD.
Surely the election of Ms Sutton sent a message to the council that there was a strong desire by the residents and business owners of Shepparton to find some way of alleviating the paid parking problem.
But the council has gone the other way, instead of reducing fees or allowing say the first half hour free and telling its parking officers to be more lenient with overstays, it sacks four local workers and contracts out the parking enforcement to a Melbourne company with its own employees..
I believe the council has a responsibility to look after Shepparton first and NOT encourage the further degradation of the CBD and the Maude Street Mall by employing a private company from Melbourne with overzealous parking inspectors.
The Councils actions are a massive FAIL.
Speaking of the Maude Street Mall, a big thumbs up to Emily Minotti-Watson for her work in organising the local SchoolStrike4Climate rally in the Mall on Friday 20th September.
This action is part of the worldwide Global#climate Strike which was started by Greta Thunberg (pictured above).
I encourage as many people as possible to attend to show our incompetent politicians and city fathers and mothers that the global situation is becoming dire and action is required now.
Greta has obviously hit a raw nerve when conservative commentators like Andrew Bolt resort to attacking this courageous girls mental state -"If you can't play the ball, play the man".
The other night on Q&A, Liberal Senator and IPA (Institute of Pubic Affairs) member, James Patterson was there spouting the same old tired line that even if Australia stopped all emissions immediately, it would make no difference to global emissions. In a way he is correct-we only contribute about 1% of global emissions (although we are the highest per capita emitter).
BUT, if 50 countries that only contribute 1% of global emissions each (thats 50% of global emissions in total) all dropped their emissions by 50% that means a reduction in global emissions of 25% if my maths is correct. That is a good start.
Patterson rabbited on about China and their massive emissions but no mention of the Donald pulling the USA out of the Paris Agreement, and no mention of how much Australian coal contributes to Chinese emissions.
We have an existential problem here and the more of us that stand up to be counted the more chance we have of keeping the planet habitable for our children and grandchildren. To think otherwise is to be on the wrong side of history.
As a show of support to these courageous school students I will be attending the SchoolStrike4Climate at 11am in the Maude Street Mall, this Friday-I look forward too seeing you there.