Mayor accuses Government of “pork barrelling”

A State Government grant of $25,000 to the Donald Simpson Community Centre is described as "pork barrelling" by the Mayor..

A State Government grant of $25,000 to the Donald Simpson Community Centre is described as “pork barrelling” by the Mayor.

Redlands residents comment about the Mayor’s Donald Simpson Centre funding claims, the Operation Belcarra report on local government corruption risk and disillusionment with political parties.

If you have something to say to the Redlands community, send an email to:

Mayor on Donald Simpson Centre funding

Comment by Karen Williams on the Kim Richards Labor for Redlands Facebook Page

On 6th October 2017, Karen Williams posted on the Kim Richards Labor for Redlands facebook page:

…council has provided $450000 financial support per annum to the DSC, they have $300000 in the bank. They are about to install solar panels. They are making the financial decisions that determine fees. Across the country, Councils receive about 3% of the nations taxation. We are not the only source of funding for organisations. We support a multitude of sporting clubs in this city and those families have to pay hundreds of dollars for their children to participate in those activities. The Donald Simpson Centre will continue to be supported to the value of about $350k. If you now have to pay $5 for an activity rather than $1, perhaps ask the state to pay DSC’s electricity bill which is substantially more than what this $25k one off pork barrelling exercise has offered.

The audited financial statements for the Donald Simpson Centre to year ended 30 June 2017 states under Operating Income (p.5) Subsidies Received (RCC) $96,979.00. Where has the Mayor plucked the sum of $450,000.00 per annum from?

Who is being untruthful – the Mayor or the auditor?

The activity fee was raised by $1.00 to $5.00 per session not per activity as stated by the Mayor.

The Queensland Government provided Donald Simpson Centre with a grant under Advancing Queensland: an age-friendly community grants program to help to support seniors through the development of an age-friendly Queensland.

Meanwhile the Mayor and Crs Mitchell, Edwards, Elliott, Talty, and Gleeson voted to cease all operational funding to the Donald Simpson Centre and transfer the balance of funding to the implementation Queensland Age Friendly Community Action Plan which includes the Cleveland Community Hub project.

What is the Cleveland Community Hub Project?

What is RCC planning?

Is it a building or grants to local organizations?

How much has the RCC received from the State government to implement the Community Action Plan?

There are many questions but all is quiet on the Mayoral front.


For the love of Belcarra

I read with interest in this week’s Redland City Bulletin an article reporting that Redland City Mayor Karen Williams wants rapid adoption of the Belcarra recommendations.

It is helpful and necessary to have legislation to frame the acceptable limits of legal conduct. However it is not more legislation that will prevent the problems. It is ethical conduct by Mayors and Councillors.

Does a five term local politician in her second term as Mayor really need to have conflict of interest defined?


Belcarra only looked at 4 councils. why?

Cleveland resident had a letter published in Courier Mail asking why only four (4) councils were singled out for investigation (in Belcarra investigations).

Why not all of the SEQ councils?

They all do business, many behind the scenes, with developers with deep pockets and as my late husband used to say “we can all be bought!”


Political realities

Malcolm Turnbull – let his membership of the Liberal Party lapse for many years

In the time I was active in the ALP I found myself outnumbered with a select few by the factional warriors some of whom were intelligent with vigorous convictions whom may go places one day with some life experience but a great deal others were just careerist hacks with hardly next to no life experience.

This is a growing problem in the political establishment that even former Prime ministers Bob Hawke and John Howard labelled as something that was wrong with the current generation in an interview with ABC. This from, what I’m told from friends, is a problem in the other mainstream and minor parties as well.

It is sad to admit but issues like the Toondah Harbor and Adani are pretty evident of the right wing factional interests in the corporate direction that some in the QLD ALP and LNP has recently taken due to greedy lobbyist wishing to buy out our democratic structures whereby the hacks justify the means and bully.

Many Labor members locally and abroad have become disillusioned due to this. I won’t be the first and I won’t be the last to leave the party upon protest or other means.

The ALP has survived a number of splits and scandal over the past century and great past figures like Jack Lang and his allies, as well as Bob Heffron and Clem Jones have been disillusioned with the party politics of the ALP at times before rejoining.  More recently our Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, in the past joined a party and left.  Only to return again

From what I’ve observed and gathered, I believe, the parties need to cut ties with corporate donors.  They need ethical guideline practices in disputes matters by introducing ombudsman figures to filter the factional biases, deal with appropriate complaints, ensure mentoring takes place among the youth with potential leadership and life skills.

As a Fabian I believe the Australian Fabians will work to do this with the labour movement but I do think the Greens and LNP need to adopt similar actions as well as any other party. If the party I once supported does this perhaps I and others will return someday.

Cal Sorensen – Karklis


Letters published by Redlands2030 – 21 October 2017