It’s time to ditch our Right Honourable Lord MayorWith the new year we should adopt a new flag and strip the Lord Mayor’s title

With the coming of the New Year we begin to reflect on our past and look towards the future and the things that we should change.

There are many things on our list, most are talked about but never happen for one reason or another we never get around to doing it.

Issues such as an Australian republic and a new flag that better represents Australia as a developing nation. Victoria should also adopt a new State flag. (The issue of a republic – hopefully a model without a direct elected head of state – will be soon back on the agenda with John Howard’s expected retirement)

We need to move on and shrug off our colonial past.


One such issue that we should consider is the abolition of the title Lord Mayor“. A title that puts the Mayor of Melbourne above all other Victorian cities mayors. A title that enables the incumbent to call himself “The Right Honourable Lord Mayor” as he is introduced or referred to in any formal setting.

It’s time we changed, time we moved on from our colonial imperial past.

Already we have seen the seeds of change.

Upper House member John Lenders, Leader of the Government in the Victorian Legislative Council and Minister for Major Projects has taken the first step and rejected the use of title “The Honourable” which he is able to claim.

John Lenders is one of a few politicians who has shown integrity and commitment to his beliefs.

Hopefully we will see more and more Government Ministers and members of the Legislative Council abandon this out-dated tradition.

Melbourne no longer holds the same significance and importance as it did when Victoria first started out as a British colony. The City boundaries have changed been reduced, Hoddle’s grid has been breach, other cities and municipalities in Victoria have grown in size and now have more people then our capital City.

The head of our City Government no longer needs to retain the title the “Right Honourable Lord Mayor“. It a title that is in deceitful and offensive. You do not need a Title to be a leader amongst your peers. The American City of New York is one such example where the title “Mayor” suffices and is well regarded.

The time has come for the City Council to move forward and take the lead by calling on the State Government to legislate the title out of existence and into the past by relegating it to the pages of our history books.


Anthony van der Craats

It’s time to ditch our Right Honourable Lord MayorWith the new year we should adopt a new flag and strip the Lord Mayor’s title

With the coming of the New Year we begin to reflect on our past and look towards the future and the things that we should change.

There are many things on our list, most are talked about but never happen for one reason or another we never get around to doing it.

Issues such as an Australian republic and a new flag that better represents Australia as a developing nation. Victoria should also adopt a new State flag. (The issue of a republic – hopefully a model without a direct elected head of state – will be soon back on the agenda with John Howard’s expected retirement)

We need to move on and shrug off our colonial past.


One such issue that we should consider is the abolition of the title Lord Mayor“. A title that puts the Mayor of Melbourne above all other Victorian cities mayors. A title that enables the incumbent to call himself “The Right Honourable Lord Mayor” as he is introduced or referred to in any formal setting.

It’s time we changed, time we moved on from our colonial imperial past.

Already we have seen the seeds of change.

Upper House member John Lenders, Leader of the Government in the Victorian Legislative Council and Minister for Major Projects has taken the first step and rejected the use of title “The Honourable” which he is able to claim.

John Lenders is one of a few politicians who has shown integrity and commitment to his beliefs.

Hopefully we will see more and more Government Ministers and members of the Legislative Council abandon this out-dated tradition.

Melbourne no longer holds the same significance and importance as it did when Victoria first started out as a British colony. The City boundaries have changed been reduced, Hoddle’s grid has been breach, other cities and municipalities in Victoria have grown in size and now have more people then our capital City.

The head of our City Government no longer needs to retain the title the “Right Honourable Lord Mayor“. It a title that is in deceitful and offensive. You do not need a Title to be a leader amongst your peers. The American City of New York is one such example where the title “Mayor” suffices and is well regarded.

The time has come for the City Council to move forward and take the lead by calling on the State Government to legislate the title out of existence and into the past by relegating it to the pages of our history books.


Anthony van der Craats

It’s time to ditch our Right Honourable Lord MayorWith the new year we should adopt a new flag and strip the Lord Mayor’s title

With the coming of the New Year we begin to reflect on our past and look towards the future and the things that we should change.

There are many things on our list, most are talked about but never happen for one reason or another we never get around to doing it.

Issues such as an Australian republic and a new flag that better represents Australia as a developing nation. Victoria should also adopt a new State flag. (The issue of a republic – hopefully a model without a direct elected head of state – will be soon back on the agenda with John Howard’s expected retirement)

We need to move on and shrug off our colonial past.


One such issue that we should consider is the abolition of the title Lord Mayor“. A title that puts the Mayor of Melbourne above all other Victorian cities mayors. A title that enables the incumbent to call himself “The Right Honourable Lord Mayor” as he is introduced or referred to in any formal setting.

It’s time we changed, time we moved on from our colonial imperial past.

Already we have seen the seeds of change.

Upper House member John Lenders, Leader of the Government in the Victorian Legislative Council and Minister for Major Projects has taken the first step and rejected the use of title “The Honourable” which he is able to claim.

John Lenders is one of a few politicians who has shown integrity and commitment to his beliefs.

Hopefully we will see more and more Government Ministers and members of the Legislative Council abandon this out-dated tradition.

Melbourne no longer holds the same significance and importance as it did when Victoria first started out as a British colony. The City boundaries have changed been reduced, Hoddle’s grid has been breach, other cities and municipalities in Victoria have grown in size and now have more people then our capital City.

The head of our City Government no longer needs to retain the title the “Right Honourable Lord Mayor“. It a title that is in deceitful and offensive. You do not need a Title to be a leader amongst your peers. The American City of New York is one such example where the title “Mayor” suffices and is well regarded.

The time has come for the City Council to move forward and take the lead by calling on the State Government to legislate the title out of existence and into the past by relegating it to the pages of our history books.


Anthony van der Craats

Freedom of (from) Information report 2004-2005City Council continues to misuse and abuse system

The Victorian Attorney General, Rob Hulls, this week released the 2004-2005 financial year Freedom of Information report (Link to FoI report – pdf file)

The Age ran an interesting article “FoI requests hit record high” by Farrah Tomazin (December 26, 2005) indicating that the number of applications were up as is the number of applications that were refused.

You should careful not to read too much into the report – When we did some research on previous years data we found some anomalies with the City of Melbourne statistics. It appears that they forgot to include some data understating the number of successful FoI application appeals.

FoI administration is not well managed down at Clown Hall and hopefully with the departure of Alison Lyons, Legal and Governance Manager, things will pick up.

We have written to the Melbourne City Council requesting an explanation and assurance that the information provided to the Minister is in fact correct and that the City Council has not deliberately or inadvertently mislead the Attorney general who in turn may have mislead the Parliament.

It is not clear if the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is subject to FoI legislation, (if not it should be) if it is then we can expect that things will get a lot worst for the MAV in the not too distant future.

Some Interesting quotes from Hulls report.

The Bracks Government came to office determined to return openness and accountability to public life. Victorians had demanded nothing less and expected, quite rightly, that their democratic institutions would be returned to them – that they would, once again, feel able to exercise their right to access government information.

I noted in last year’s FOI Annual Report that the Victorian Ombudsman had commenced an own motion examination of the administration of FOI in Victoria. FOI processes and legislation – a relatively new and complex area of government – will always be a work in progress and I therefore look forward to the Ombudsman’s recommendations as to how we can continue to make improvements to this essential democratic mechanism.

The number of VCAT appeals lodged decreased by 11% in 2004/2005 when compared to the figure for the previous year. – Could it be that information was not correctly reported as has previously been identified with the City of Melbourne’s statistical data?


The Attorney-General’s February 2000 FOI Guidelines to assist in the administration of the FOI Act require agencies to look to providing information outside the FOI process.

The existence of the FOI Act should not mean that the formal process provided under it is the only means of obtaining access to documents or information of an agency.

City of Melbourne published statistics for 2005 show that 78% of FoI applications were granted in full, 24% in part, 2% denied and 4% withdrawn (Note: There is a +/- 2% error in the published data provided by the City of Melbourne reason unknown – Creative accounting or poor bookkeeping is our guess)

Which begs answers to the questions

  • Why was this information not provided on request?
  • Why was an FOI application required in order to obtain the information?
  • How many more request for information were denied and did not proceed to a formal FoI application?

Is this not an ongoing abuse of process ?

Is the system designed to prevent access to information – and as a result avoid accountablity- by making access to information as dificult as possible?

Freedom of (from) Information report 2004-2005City Council continues to misuse and abuse system

The Victorian Attorney General, Rob Hulls, this week released the 2004-2005 financial year Freedom of Information report (Link to FoI report – pdf file)

The Age ran an interesting article “FoI requests hit record high” by Farrah Tomazin (December 26, 2005) indicating that the number of applications were up as is the number of applications that were refused.

You should careful not to read too much into the report – When we did some research on previous years data we found some anomalies with the City of Melbourne statistics. It appears that they forgot to include some data understating the number of successful FoI application appeals.

FoI administration is not well managed down at Clown Hall and hopefully with the departure of Alison Lyons, Legal and Governance Manager, things will pick up.

We have written to the Melbourne City Council requesting an explanation and assurance that the information provided to the Minister is in fact correct and that the City Council has not deliberately or inadvertently mislead the Attorney general who in turn may have mislead the Parliament.

It is not clear if the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is subject to FoI legislation, (if not it should be) if it is then we can expect that things will get a lot worst for the MAV in the not too distant future.

Some Interesting quotes from Hulls report.

The Bracks Government came to office determined to return openness and accountability to public life. Victorians had demanded nothing less and expected, quite rightly, that their democratic institutions would be returned to them – that they would, once again, feel able to exercise their right to access government information.

I noted in last year’s FOI Annual Report that the Victorian Ombudsman had commenced an own motion examination of the administration of FOI in Victoria. FOI processes and legislation – a relatively new and complex area of government – will always be a work in progress and I therefore look forward to the Ombudsman’s recommendations as to how we can continue to make improvements to this essential democratic mechanism.

The number of VCAT appeals lodged decreased by 11% in 2004/2005 when compared to the figure for the previous year. – Could it be that information was not correctly reported as has previously been identified with the City of Melbourne’s statistical data?


The Attorney-General’s February 2000 FOI Guidelines to assist in the administration of the FOI Act require agencies to look to providing information outside the FOI process.

The existence of the FOI Act should not mean that the formal process provided under it is the only means of obtaining access to documents or information of an agency.

City of Melbourne published statistics for 2005 show that 78% of FoI applications were granted in full, 24% in part, 2% denied and 4% withdrawn (Note: There is a +/- 2% error in the published data provided by the City of Melbourne reason unknown – Creative accounting or poor bookkeeping is our guess)

Which begs answers to the questions

  • Why was this information not provided on request?
  • Why was an FOI application required in order to obtain the information?
  • How many more request for information were denied and did not proceed to a formal FoI application?

Is this not an ongoing abuse of process ?

Is the system designed to prevent access to information – and as a result avoid accountablity- by making access to information as dificult as possible?

Freedom of (from) Information report 2004-2005City Council continues to misuse and abuse system

The Victorian Attorney General, Rob Hulls, this week released the 2004-2005 financial year Freedom of Information report (Link to FoI report – pdf file)

The Age ran an interesting article “FoI requests hit record high” by Farrah Tomazin (December 26, 2005) indicating that the number of applications were up as is the number of applications that were refused.

You should careful not to read too much into the report – When we did some research on previous years data we found some anomalies with the City of Melbourne statistics. It appears that they forgot to include some data understating the number of successful FoI application appeals.

FoI administration is not well managed down at Clown Hall and hopefully with the departure of Alison Lyons, Legal and Governance Manager, things will pick up.

We have written to the Melbourne City Council requesting an explanation and assurance that the information provided to the Minister is in fact correct and that the City Council has not deliberately or inadvertently mislead the Attorney general who in turn may have mislead the Parliament.

It is not clear if the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) is subject to FoI legislation, (if not it should be) if it is then we can expect that things will get a lot worst for the MAV in the not too distant future.

Some Interesting quotes from Hulls report.

The Bracks Government came to office determined to return openness and accountability to public life. Victorians had demanded nothing less and expected, quite rightly, that their democratic institutions would be returned to them – that they would, once again, feel able to exercise their right to access government information.

I noted in last year’s FOI Annual Report that the Victorian Ombudsman had commenced an own motion examination of the administration of FOI in Victoria. FOI processes and legislation – a relatively new and complex area of government – will always be a work in progress and I therefore look forward to the Ombudsman’s recommendations as to how we can continue to make improvements to this essential democratic mechanism.

The number of VCAT appeals lodged decreased by 11% in 2004/2005 when compared to the figure for the previous year. – Could it be that information was not correctly reported as has previously been identified with the City of Melbourne’s statistical data?


The Attorney-General’s February 2000 FOI Guidelines to assist in the administration of the FOI Act require agencies to look to providing information outside the FOI process.

The existence of the FOI Act should not mean that the formal process provided under it is the only means of obtaining access to documents or information of an agency.

City of Melbourne published statistics for 2005 show that 78% of FoI applications were granted in full, 24% in part, 2% denied and 4% withdrawn (Note: There is a +/- 2% error in the published data provided by the City of Melbourne reason unknown – Creative accounting or poor bookkeeping is our guess)

Which begs answers to the questions

  • Why was this information not provided on request?
  • Why was an FOI application required in order to obtain the information?
  • How many more request for information were denied and did not proceed to a formal FoI application?

Is this not an ongoing abuse of process ?

Is the system designed to prevent access to information – and as a result avoid accountablity- by making access to information as dificult as possible?

EcoFest – The true impact of International Environmental Confests

EcoFests – International Environment Conferences

Confest tourism is big business. Its huge worth trillions of dollars and growing at an alarming rate.


Why pay for your next international holiday when you can put in on the corportate tab – even better if the Government pays.

It seams that every one want to an all expenses paid for international business trip and what better way to have a holiday abroad then to attend a “work related” conference – and its not just the proffessional elite.

Conferences are happening all over the world, you name it and there is a conference you can attend. Just list your prefered destinations and jump on the internet and I am sure you will find one to suit you requirements.

Event organisers are carving out a pretty penny for themselves. Hotels, resteraunts, catering companies, advertising executives, corporate managers, travel agents, taxis and hire cars all beneficiarys of the economic activitiy generated. It seams every one is a winner from this economic self generating cash cow – that is except the environment.

I first got to thinking about it when I started to camoiagn for open dislosure of of the City of Melbourne’s staff and cocunillors intertstae and overseas travel. The Council administration would go to extrordinary efforts to avoid disclosure and public scrutiny of the extent of travel undertaken by staff and Councillors. The Coucnil staff and Councillors spent over one million dollars in direct travel related activities.

Whats more that information and benefits gained in jet setting off around the world could have easily been achieved if they stay at home. Most of the time the conference goers don’t even attend the schedualed conference events.

I was staying in Rome, as part of a stop over from a trip around the world and during my stay there I met a lot of foriegners on the tourist trail. When we got talking I found out that most of the tourists I had met were on a “government sponsored business trip attanding a Food and Agricultural Organsiation (FAO) meeting. Now for those that do not know FAO is connected with the United Nations and its head quarters are based in Rome.

Every one of these Confest tourists as I call them had taken time out from the organsied conference to look around Rome. Infact it is the normal modus operande for FAO delegates to register for a conference of some kind and spend most of the time sightseeing. At the end of the event everyone goes home full of praise and gratitude for FAO and the conference the just attended.

I souldn’t single out FOA as such because I am sure they fullfill a very important job and contribute significantly to the worlds Argicultual development. But this sort of thing is going on all over the world with every concievable type of organisation from the Vatican to the weidest of international environment organisations that noboby has heard about.

Its big business – Millions opon Millions of dollars are spent every day. Whats more there are generouse tax deductions to help off-set the cost.

A part from generating economic activity what are the true cost benefits derived from international travel?

Who and how often should employees and government official attend overseas confest?

What are the pitfalls?

The City of Melbourne is a good example case of the sort of wasted resources and ideolgical bankrupt hippocrites.


Avoid air travel

Like cars, aeroplanes are major contributors to the greenhouse effect, and are one of the fastest growing source of greenhouse pollution. In particular, they emit high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and water vapour. NOx emissions from aircraft are responsible for ozone depletion in the stratosphere and also contribute to smog build-up in our cities.

So where possible, you should rethink your air travel needs. If a conference call is as good as a face-to-face meeting, take the phone call option. For your next vacation discover the secrets of your own state rather than taking an air-based holiday.

Avoiding one return Sydney to Melbourne air trip saves 256 kg of CO2. That’s about three times more greenhouse gases than a train or a bus.

If you avoid a return flight from Melbourne to London you could save 2.49 tonnes of greenhouse emissions, the equivalent of 10 trees.

EcoFest – The true impact of International Environmental Confests

EcoFests – International Environment Conferences

Confest tourism is big business. Its huge worth trillions of dollars and growing at an alarming rate.


Why pay for your next international holiday when you can put in on the corportate tab – even better if the Government pays.

It seams that every one want to an all expenses paid for international business trip and what better way to have a holiday abroad then to attend a “work related” conference – and its not just the proffessional elite.

Conferences are happening all over the world, you name it and there is a conference you can attend. Just list your prefered destinations and jump on the internet and I am sure you will find one to suit you requirements.

Event organisers are carving out a pretty penny for themselves. Hotels, resteraunts, catering companies, advertising executives, corporate managers, travel agents, taxis and hire cars all beneficiarys of the economic activitiy generated. It seams every one is a winner from this economic self generating cash cow – that is except the environment.

I first got to thinking about it when I started to camoiagn for open dislosure of of the City of Melbourne’s staff and cocunillors intertstae and overseas travel. The Council administration would go to extrordinary efforts to avoid disclosure and public scrutiny of the extent of travel undertaken by staff and Councillors. The Coucnil staff and Councillors spent over one million dollars in direct travel related activities.

Whats more that information and benefits gained in jet setting off around the world could have easily been achieved if they stay at home. Most of the time the conference goers don’t even attend the schedualed conference events.

I was staying in Rome, as part of a stop over from a trip around the world and during my stay there I met a lot of foriegners on the tourist trail. When we got talking I found out that most of the tourists I had met were on a “government sponsored business trip attanding a Food and Agricultural Organsiation (FAO) meeting. Now for those that do not know FAO is connected with the United Nations and its head quarters are based in Rome.

Every one of these Confest tourists as I call them had taken time out from the organsied conference to look around Rome. Infact it is the normal modus operande for FAO delegates to register for a conference of some kind and spend most of the time sightseeing. At the end of the event everyone goes home full of praise and gratitude for FAO and the conference the just attended.

I souldn’t single out FOA as such because I am sure they fullfill a very important job and contribute significantly to the worlds Argicultual development. But this sort of thing is going on all over the world with every concievable type of organisation from the Vatican to the weidest of international environment organisations that noboby has heard about.

Its big business – Millions opon Millions of dollars are spent every day. Whats more there are generouse tax deductions to help off-set the cost.

A part from generating economic activity what are the true cost benefits derived from international travel?

Who and how often should employees and government official attend overseas confest?

What are the pitfalls?

The City of Melbourne is a good example case of the sort of wasted resources and ideolgical bankrupt hippocrites.


Avoid air travel

Like cars, aeroplanes are major contributors to the greenhouse effect, and are one of the fastest growing source of greenhouse pollution. In particular, they emit high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and water vapour. NOx emissions from aircraft are responsible for ozone depletion in the stratosphere and also contribute to smog build-up in our cities.

So where possible, you should rethink your air travel needs. If a conference call is as good as a face-to-face meeting, take the phone call option. For your next vacation discover the secrets of your own state rather than taking an air-based holiday.

Avoiding one return Sydney to Melbourne air trip saves 256 kg of CO2. That’s about three times more greenhouse gases than a train or a bus.

If you avoid a return flight from Melbourne to London you could save 2.49 tonnes of greenhouse emissions, the equivalent of 10 trees.

EcoFest – The true impact of International Environmental Confests

EcoFests – International Environment Conferences

Confest tourism is big business. Its huge worth trillions of dollars and growing at an alarming rate.


Why pay for your next international holiday when you can put in on the corportate tab – even better if the Government pays.

It seams that every one want to an all expenses paid for international business trip and what better way to have a holiday abroad then to attend a “work related” conference – and its not just the proffessional elite.

Conferences are happening all over the world, you name it and there is a conference you can attend. Just list your prefered destinations and jump on the internet and I am sure you will find one to suit you requirements.

Event organisers are carving out a pretty penny for themselves. Hotels, resteraunts, catering companies, advertising executives, corporate managers, travel agents, taxis and hire cars all beneficiarys of the economic activitiy generated. It seams every one is a winner from this economic self generating cash cow – that is except the environment.

I first got to thinking about it when I started to camoiagn for open dislosure of of the City of Melbourne’s staff and cocunillors intertstae and overseas travel. The Council administration would go to extrordinary efforts to avoid disclosure and public scrutiny of the extent of travel undertaken by staff and Councillors. The Coucnil staff and Councillors spent over one million dollars in direct travel related activities.

Whats more that information and benefits gained in jet setting off around the world could have easily been achieved if they stay at home. Most of the time the conference goers don’t even attend the schedualed conference events.

I was staying in Rome, as part of a stop over from a trip around the world and during my stay there I met a lot of foriegners on the tourist trail. When we got talking I found out that most of the tourists I had met were on a “government sponsored business trip attanding a Food and Agricultural Organsiation (FAO) meeting. Now for those that do not know FAO is connected with the United Nations and its head quarters are based in Rome.

Every one of these Confest tourists as I call them had taken time out from the organsied conference to look around Rome. Infact it is the normal modus operande for FAO delegates to register for a conference of some kind and spend most of the time sightseeing. At the end of the event everyone goes home full of praise and gratitude for FAO and the conference the just attended.

I souldn’t single out FOA as such because I am sure they fullfill a very important job and contribute significantly to the worlds Argicultual development. But this sort of thing is going on all over the world with every concievable type of organisation from the Vatican to the weidest of international environment organisations that noboby has heard about.

Its big business – Millions opon Millions of dollars are spent every day. Whats more there are generouse tax deductions to help off-set the cost.

A part from generating economic activity what are the true cost benefits derived from international travel?

Who and how often should employees and government official attend overseas confest?

What are the pitfalls?

The City of Melbourne is a good example case of the sort of wasted resources and ideolgical bankrupt hippocrites.


Avoid air travel

Like cars, aeroplanes are major contributors to the greenhouse effect, and are one of the fastest growing source of greenhouse pollution. In particular, they emit high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and water vapour. NOx emissions from aircraft are responsible for ozone depletion in the stratosphere and also contribute to smog build-up in our cities.

So where possible, you should rethink your air travel needs. If a conference call is as good as a face-to-face meeting, take the phone call option. For your next vacation discover the secrets of your own state rather than taking an air-based holiday.

Avoiding one return Sydney to Melbourne air trip saves 256 kg of CO2. That’s about three times more greenhouse gases than a train or a bus.

If you avoid a return flight from Melbourne to London you could save 2.49 tonnes of greenhouse emissions, the equivalent of 10 trees.

Brindley – Lane foretells a foreboding messageFraser Brindley sells out Green’s policy behind closed doors

The City of Melbourne would do well to read Terry Lane’s opinion piece published in the Age on December 18, 2005 .

“Democracy, as we know, is government of the people, by the people and for the people. It’s a noble concept, but how are the people to govern ourselves if we have no idea what’s going on?”

(Terry Lane is one of the Age’s most enlightened social commentators – remember his time at the ABC)

Whilst Lane’s comments are directed at the State Government they could have equally been aimed at the Melbourne City Council and many other Governments in Victoria – Green Councillor Fraser Brindley please take note.

Terry Lane’s article is about obtaining information from Governments about government. All too often we see Governments try to dodge the bullets and fire storms by trying to shut out the public from knowing the facts – Governments that are not prepared to stand by the facts and record of their administration. The former Kennett Liberal Government made an art form of it and every other government has continued on with his approach.

Lane successfully quotes the former NSW Auditor-General, Tony Harris, who says: “It appears to me that governments just don’t want to be accountable, and are using private sector participation and so are reducing the amount of information that’s available. It is really outrageous.

To back up this statement Lane then goes on to quote Wayne Cameron, Victorian Auditor-General “An important element of the responsibility of the executive government is to make decisions affecting the direction and management of the state’s financial resources and its operations. The government of the day, in return, has an obligation to account to the parliament and, in turn, to the community for its use of public funds and resources.”

Terry Lanes sums up by proposing the question What is it about politicians that they are such hypocrites and so averse to the very foundation of democracy that depends on the electorate knowing what is being done in their name? How can the cost of a major infrastructure project be kept secret? Are they ashamed of something?”

The same principle applies to obtaining information about Melbourne City Council’s expenditure be it the cost of a major project development, costs associated with in-house catering, Councillors’ overseas junkets or the cost of the Lord Mayor’s Limo.

The City of Melbourne has forgotten the significance of public ownership and the right of public access to information.

Even worst is the fact that some Councillors, including Green Cr Fraser Brindley, believe it is OK to hold secret sessions behind closed doors in an attempt to prevent public scrutiny and the release of information related to the costs of the City of Melbourne’s in-bound missions (the cost of inviting guest to visit Melbourne who are wined and dined at Councils expense).

Now were not saying that there is anything wrong with extending the odd invitation or two to someone to visit our city, and in the process show them a good time, but why does the City Council have to go out of their way to withhold details and information to the public on the extent of Council expenditure?

The City administration is mistaken in the belief that it is their professional responsibility to avoid disclosure.

Why is it that information on Council’s costs and expenditure is only made available to the public via Freedom of Information legislation this is clearly an abuse of process and responsibility.

Councillor Brindley should think twice before he sells out the many supporters who voted him into office.

Former Green Councillor David Risstrom demonstrated on many occasions his commitment to the public’s right of access to information and proper process.

Sadly it was a question of timing David Risstrom stood down from the City of Melbourne to unsuccessful seek election as representative of Victoria in the Australian Senate and in the process he handed the baton over to Green Councillor Fraser Brindley.


We would like to remind Cr Brindley of his commitment to the electorate


Governance – Democracy, Accountability & Participation

“The Greens support the integrity of local government as an independent level of government enabling full and active participation of the community in governance of issues at the local level. Such governance should embrace open and consultative decision – making, and provide for clear reporting of Council’s activities.”November 2004

Yes we all want a cleaner and healthier environment but there is more to good governance then half-baked policies on the environment. We also want honest, open and transparent government. We want to know the full extent and costs associated with the administration and governance of our city. We do not want information with-held and decisions made behind closed doors.

With the departure of Councillors Chamberlain and Kitchin the Melbourne City Council is no longer being held to account and as a result the public are worst off. Councillors Clarke, Snedden and Shanahan are fighting an up-hill battle only to be let down by Cr Brindley.

The Greens would do better to find someone that knows what they are doing, what their responsibilities are and who is prepared to protect the public’s right of access to information.

David all is forgiven please come back.