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Do We Need Local Government?

RIP Wyndham Council

Leadership in Australia has previously seemed uninspiring.

We had been left wondering where the “I have a dream” or the “Ask not what your country can do for you” leaders had gone.

However, this year has restored a lot of people’s faith in our State and Federal leaders. Leaders at both levels have been impressive on all sides of the political divide. A National Cabinet that is singularly focussed and consultative. State and Federal Oppositions minimising petty arguments in order to clear the way for important consensus. It has not been perfect, but it has been encouraging.

It is now time for local government to step up. It has long been derided as an unnecessary level of bureaucracy focussed on collecting rates and bins.

If ever there was a time that it could prove its relevance, it is now.

What are they doing to help the people of Wyndham through this pandemic? A glance at their website shows that you can have your rates deferred. Not reduced, deferred. So when ratepayers are back in a job they can pay more rates to catch up.

Council offers deferral of rates

What other services are they providing to prove their importance? They offer a free “one on one teleconference consultation” to small business. Not bad, but not something that small businesses couldn’t get elsewhere.

I am sure that local government in Wyndham has plenty of hard working public servants at ground level who make sure that neighbourhood services run smoothly. The fact that we don’t notice them often demonstrates what a great job that they do.

Image Credit: The Loop

But it is time for those at the very top to consider that their role is often more than maintaining parks and skate parks and requires having a dream for this region and its residents.

Otherwise why not have their services run as part of state government in order to minimise costs and bureaucracy.


Author: Ben Hutchings