We have been hearing a lot of airy fairy statements about nothing by mayoral candidates lately. Catch phrases like “collaboration”, “vibrancy” and the like are everywhere but with a total lack of detail about what it all means. It is time to talk about actions, not gloss over the problems our City has.
Verge side collections this year were cancelled, tip fees introduced and kerbside recycling again missed out. The displeasure with this decision has been brought to my attention numerous times by many people. This week I travelled with a very concerned ratepayer to the back of Utakarra to witness the massive illegal dumping problem. I openly admit to being shocked at the scale of the problem and now believe that the City must reconsider its decision to scrap the verge side collection. Funding for the reinstatement of verge side collections can easily be found from budget savings. Yes a service may need to be scaled back elsewhere but rubbish collection is the most fundamental of services a City delivers.
Kerbside recycling is expensive and delivers a lower environmental benefit than most would think. If however the community want it they have a right to do so. I will call for a community workshop to explain the costs and expected environmental benefits of kerbside recycling and if the community wish to pay an extra levy for the service, then the City should work to make it a reality. The City budget could also be looked at again for savings to fund some of the cost. Ratepayers have the right to be informed on this issue and have a right to prioritise this service.
Council needs to get back to basics and focus on what its real job is. Reserves, roads and rubbish. Afterall, you can’t have a vibrant City if you have rubbish everywhere.
Let’s start listening to ratepayers and providing the services they want. Let’s change for the better.
Shane Van Styn
Candidate for Mayor for the City of Greater Geraldton
Written and Authorised by Shane Van Styn, 51 Gregory Street Geraldton WA 6530