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EYE-BALL’s Herman on – Constitutional Reform – This time it is recognising Local Council.

July 17, 2013
Links to Previous ‘Herman’ Posts:

– 5th July – Gone – Ski Part II (Gone is Gonski)

– 27th June – Gone-Ski: Prime Minister Julia Gillard

– 24th June – The Ashes

– 21st June – The Senate

– 5th June – Zombies

– 1st June – Canberra – and black holes

-30th May – What is an adequate Contrition?

– 24th May – Simplex

– 19th May – The Tears of a Prime Minister

– 24th Mar – An Example of bureaucracy gone mad

– 10th Mar – The Carbon Tax – Post Election …

– 7th Mar – Wayne Swan – Please Stop

28th Feb – The Australian Labor Party View

– 6th Feb – Corruption

– 25th Jan – Anti Discrimination

– 17th Jan 2013 – Atheism

– 12th Nov – Hegemony

– 2nd Nov – A March early Federal election

To see more EYE-BALL ‘Herman’ posts:

click here …

– Constitutional Reform –
– This time it is recognising Local Council –
| Author: EYE-BALL’s Herman O’Hermitage | 17th July 2013 |
In the foreseeable future it is recognising the Indigenous heritage.  The States in Australia started with the Bigge Commission of enquiry into Lachlan Macquarie’s administration. All interesting stuff (see Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bigge)

Van Dieman’s Land was given its own Legislative Council. Ipso facto New South Wales was isolated. Then was South Australia and so on. Over the next 7 decades a process developed amongst many other factors to alter those states as British colonies, then ultimately through federation, the birth of modern Australia occurred, a form of free trade zone and independence from Britain under the title the Commonwealth of Australia. The independence process in some ways took a further 7 decades to finally curtail right of appeals to the Privy Council of the United Kingdom.

This history while for me is fascinating for others it often loses listeners. Too much detail.

In federation through the work of Sir Henry Parkes, Alfred Deakin, Edmund Barton and others (Samuel  Griffith, John Cockburn, Stafford Bird) an agreement on this federation was cobbled out, and at its pinnacle is the constitution.

Once more a fascinating history, where the constitution is really quite boring, great for Insomniacs, and constitutional lawyers. New Zealand and Fiji opted out, while Western Australia only joined at the midnight hour.

For these purposes something started in the 1820’s (1819-25) was reversed in 1901, and 112 years later rankling continues. This constitution was something written in the late 1890’s for those times and attitudes and the constitution is very difficult to change. It was intended to be.

It is so difficult to change it requires a simple majority in 4 of the states (out of 6), and an absolute majority (carried by 50 plus %).

Starting all over without the British input of the late 1890’s makes sense. Every governor in 1890 was a British appointment rather than a local appointment ratified in Whitehall.

Back then NSW and Vic were dominant, and their economic interest should not be preferenced over the majority of land (the population minority) ie WA, SA, QLD and Tas. Not to forget the territories (Below – listed as other).

A table of House of Representative divisions by state and suburban v rural number 2013.

Capital City & Suburban Regional Rural Total
NSW 26 8 14 48
Victoria 21 8 8 37
Queensland 10 13 7 30
Western Australia 9 4 2 15
South Australia 7 2 2 11
Tasmania 1 0 4 5
Other 3 1 4
77 35 38 150

NB The Federal division of Berowra includes parts of Sydney’s Hills District, Dural, Arcadia up to Wiseman’s Ferry. It is included as regional but would also fit equally as suburban. You might consider NSW has 26.5 suburban seats, Similar occurs in other locales. Adelaide’s North.

NSW plus QLD plus Vic (the Eastern seaboard) are 70% of the numbers in the House of Representatives (represented by population, rather than landmass) in 2013, hence the senate being an equalising factor (the house of the States), hence also the requirement for a majority of States required to change the constitution – to protect the minorities.
Of much more consideration in this analysis is State Borders. Do they rationally represent economic interest of the economic zones? What do the States mean? Do the mines (and primary production) of WA, SA, Qld and NT carry Vic and NSW? This disparity in population also occurs within in NSW and Vic.

The simple answer is the states are a throwback to Colonial times. In NSW, Farrer, Parkes and Riverina represent the western plains (vast landmass sparsely populated – sheep and wheat), New England, Hunter, Calare and Hume the western slopes (gradually more populated, more densely populated), Eden Monaro both western slopes and coastal, and Richmond, Page, Cowper, Lyne, Paterson and Gilmore the coastal divisions. In the above table they are listed as Rural. Each has a distinct personality. Coastal has more senior citizens. Coastal tends to include dairy and fishing.

You can’t put the seat of Richmond in NSW on the Queensland border in the same breath as the seat of Eden Monaro on the Victorian Border. Richmond is tourism and retirement closer to the logics of Gold Coast, yet Eden Monaro represents diary, fishing and a rather different socio demographic (cheese and logging). In Local Government Eden Monaro becomes Bega Valley, Euro – Bodalla Shire, Cooma Monaro and Bombala and a bit more. The two coastal areas of Bega and Euro Bodalla have more in common than the two more alpine regions.

Based on that reasoning – of course Local government must be given greater weight in the constitution. Direct economic thought , determination and policy or sovereignty. Maybe that is and should be through department of fisheries or water conservation or whatever? The Snowy Mountains scheme starts in Eden Monaro. Does Macquarie Street in Sydney truly capture their economic interests? Who really looks after the interests of the greater Murray Darling and Riverina region when it crosses into Victoria and SA actually starting in Qld?

When you move into Sydney the debate alters. The NSW government wants to create about 10 Super Councils to cover Sydney more akin to what has developed in Brisbane. That means councils of up to 600,000 constituents. In the original (older) Sydney suburbs you have councils with a constituency of 40,000 electors. In the growth areas you have large councils like Sutherland Shire, Baulkham Hills, Blacktown, Liverpool, Campbelltown or Hornsby while in the St George parish you have Rockdale, Kogarah and Hurstville Councils.

Why wouldn’t you merge Waverley and Randwick? We are currently (as always) considering sacking Ryde City Council and appointing an administrator. If it is not Ryde, then it is Randwick, or Burwood or Liverpool and so on. Corruption is endemic. See my post:


Where is Ryde City? Where is Rockdale City? Or Randwick City?

Blacktown City might be considered a satellite city of Sydney or Parramatta. Campbelltown and Liverpool are satellites.

But how many councils are there in greater Parramatta? There is Holroyd, Prospect, Auburn, Baulkham Hills and so it goes.

In the NSW Police Local Area Command structure Waverley, Bondi, Randwick and Mascot are all deemed Eastern Beaches LAC. Similarly, Marrickville, Ashfield, Lewisham, Burwood, Strathfield, Flemington and Auburn are all deemed Flemington LAC. 5 (possibly 6) Local Council areas.

In Sydney councils administer town planning, garbage collection, civic centres including libraries and that is about it. Town Planning and Development applications are the real grist. Are they really integrated, or too easily corrupted?

I truly belief that real reform would be Federal divisions are also local councils. One and the same. The division of Cook is basically the Sutherland Shire. The division of Eden Monaro would be The Sapphire Coast Ward, (Bega council), The Euro Bodalla Ward (Euro Bodalla Shire Council), The Cooma Ward (Cooma Monaro Council) and the Snowy Ward (Bombala Shire). It then follows that Reid would be Drummoyne, Five Dock, part of Burwood, Strathfield, Concord and Auburn. It’s mayor would also be its MHR in Canberra. Its Mayor and deputy mayor would be their MLA’s in Macquarie St. They would sit in Canberra for about 40 days per year, working on the macro level. They would sit in Macquarie Street similarly for about 40 days per year, to discuss more regional issues. Policing, health and education. They would sit fortnightly at Local level, Town Planning, chamber of commerce, local infrastructure, parking etc. Routine DA’s would be routinely passed. Only disputed application would go to council. Other Councillors would always be available. The administration would be the council. The General Manager (or CEO) will be appointed by the council just like in the corporate world, the Board of Directors appoints the CEO.

Would this work in the NT seat of Lingiari? In 2010 only 46,409 votes were cast in Lingiari. That part would need special and extra consideration but it is not that different to some others like, Farrer, Kennedy, Durack, O’Connor and Maranoa by way of land mass, Leichhardt by way of remoteness and islands.

It won’t happen because it will destroy the traditional parties. Elections would be truly reformed. You vote for 5 councillors in your ward. They select the Mayor, and the Deputy Mayor. You simultaneously elect State MLC’s and Federal Senators. The gate keepers – the houses of review. NSW MLC’s could be weighted to fix disparity of urban v rural. (Qld does not have an upper house at State Level).

Without getting too lost on what I believe, what is the real question we are being asked to address come election day. Recognising Local Council? What does that mean?

The lack of clarity or specificity of the question, means that like all history precedent, this plebiscite too will fail. When in doubt, just say no.

What is bi partisan support? Why is funding so heavily weighted towards the Yes campaign?

From our last plebiscite – What is a constitutional monarchy? We are not Britain.

Does a democracy need a president? Do you mean a Republic? Australia is a democracy with a vice regal who is essentially ceremonial. Most Mayors in NSW are purely ceremonial.

Why is corruption on council so endemic? Why is corruption in politics so endemic?

Politics is confusing. Politicians don’t help. Politicians are the problem, they obfuscate and create the crisis. Most tend to believe it is out of self interest.

Believing in sanity is itself insanity.

The very thought of redressing the indigenous issue in the constitution makes my head spin. In the movie Lincoln much of the story was about enacting the 13th amendment of the United States constitution to outlaw slavery. It was a very deep issue. The movie is thought provoking. Was Abe Lincoln sending America’s sons to their slaughter (mass genocide) to abolish slavery? Or what is “The Amendment”?

Should any changes in future to Australia’s constitution be the 1st Amendment and so on? Might it give some greater understanding, specificity or accountability?

Believing in sanity is itself insanity!

The following is it is a different perspective on glass half full We are the World!

When thousands and thousands of people around the earth are celebrating, singing, dancing, ecstatic, drunk with the divine, there is no possibility of any global suicide.

With such festivity and with such laughter, with such sanctity and health, with such naturalness and spontaneity, how can there be war?….

Life has been given to you to create, and to rejoice, and to celebrate. When you cry and weep, when you are miserable, you are alone. When you celebrate, the whole existence participates with you.

Only in Celebration do we meet the ultimate, the eternal. Only in celebration do we go beyond the circle of birth and death.

I Celebrate Myself. Osho Chapter 4.


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Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s

EYE-BALL’s ‘Herman’ …

  1. Colin N Spencer
    July 18, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Ah, you touch on a couple of beliefs in which I have a keen interest;

    + the more mundane discussion on properly constituted councils to better run this country sidelining the power of the states to only social significance

    + the existence of a loving God

    This is grist for a discussion mill at some convenient time.

    (I am also a Republican which might surprise…our flag is an anachronism & our National anthem almost childish!!) This will get you going!!!


  2. July 19, 2013 at 6:13 am

    I get to vote for Anthony Albanese or Cedric Spencer. Albanese is a joke, too busy to talk to his constituency, and Cedric Spencer is some Liberal apparatchik who is prepared to have a go in the safest Labor party seat in NSW. Never heard of him. My vote is a waste of time. There will be 4 other candidates, a green, a unity, a christian democrat, and someone else, where their only motive is to campaign for the senate.

    The flag and anthem are real considerations but way down on the list of things to fix. This piece is all about how our pollies are disconnected, they don’t represent us, they represent very limited interests. Their lobby groups, business or unions or other corrupting forces.

    Throughout this parliament, who has ever tried to speak for the middle ground. Each parliament is promise much while campaigning, forget it or find reason to do an about face after the election, and go about self interest until just before the subsequent elections. The state parliament is no better.

    Osho is not about a loving god, but that is OK. In Zen we are all the seed of god, god is within our soul. I am not OK, you are not OK, but that is OK. We aspire to rise above suffering through an open heart and an enlightened being. I am sceptical about reincarnation. I am sceptical. That was the piece on Atheism. I would call myself an agnostic who is absolutely inspired by christian teachings.

    The real problem in our democracy is that civic leaders do not rise to the top, only sycophants, nepotists and curmudgeons. Why would you run for Council? Because you are self flagellating or corrupt. If you don’t take bribes to approve DA’s why would you do it?

    The Osho piece at the end is about curing depression. Getting angry about the predicament does not help. It makes things worse. It causes hostility and resentment.

    Laughing at these jokes can help.

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