Rockdale council politics is about as clean as the closed Bexley Pool.
As we enter what is set to be another scorching summer, many locals are frustrated to see Bexley pool is closed and more importantly the rebuilding of the facility has stalled due to the disappointing inaction of a few councillors, who are refusing to conduct the council business they were elected to.
The Liberal party councillors representing Rockdale LGA have failed to attend 5 of the last 6 council meetings forcing business to grind to a halt for lack of numbers. Their absence seems to be strategic to force a stalling of the pool complex despite them voting to progress the facility through vital stages including calling for tenders to construct. These councillors supported community endeavours to plan the new pool, the design was contracted, community was consulted, planning permission has been sought and approved, tender submissions have been received and to date over a million dollars of ratepayers money has been spent on the foregone conclusion that this pool is going ahead, as long as some parcels of council land are sold off to help pay for it.
Items on the agenda at meetings the councillors have avoided or postponed are the new Rockdale library and many other community facility upgrades, and key land sales like the Chapel Street allotment, which at current market pricing would more than cover the cost of pool. But this land sale cannot go ahead, the pool tender cannot be signed and Rockdale LGA cannot progress without enough councillors attending meetings and voting on the business at hand. The councillors are playing games on ratepayers time, knowing they can miss two out of three meetings without explanation.
Green’s candidate for Kogarah Brent Heber says “The agenda items being stalled are long overdue improvements to our local community, it simply makes no sense for these councillors to be stalling, costing ratepayers more money the longer it goes on in contract re-negotiation and market price fluctuation. All they are doing is damaging Rockdale council’s financial position. If they don’t want to be councillors, if they don’t want to improve things in Rockdale, the moral thing to do is quit so someone with the communities best interests at heart can give it a go.”
St George Greens call on these councillors to resign from their positions and for a local government by election to be held, so constituents can vote in some fresh councillors prepared to take their commitment to Rockdale more seriously and treat ratepayers with the respect they deserve.