In their voluminous election material, party candidates of GRRRP profess to be a 'team' of independents, 'genuine' independents, or a 'group' of independents. Such claims have received considerable publicity in The St George and Sutherland Leader and elsewhere, but it is a claim increasingly disputed.
In a political context with the local council election looming, we must understand what is meant by the word ''independent'"
There is no ready definition of what constitutes an independent candidate in local council elections. Still, according to a useful website of the Federal Parliament: https://peo.gov.au/understand-our-parliament/parliament-and-its-people/people-in-parliament/independents/, 'An independent is a member of the Australian Parliament who does not belong to a political party.'
That is simple; I would have thought - an independent cannot belong, by definition, to a political party. If they do, they simply cannot hold themselves out to be politically independent.
I argue a similar definition applies in local council elections and I am confident the general community will accept this definition without further debate with this added proviso; an independent has no formal affiliation with and is not a member of a registered political party except that I note a genuinely independent candidate can of course vote on occasions in accordance with the vote of a particular political party but remain independent.
But the GRRRP, it seems, wants to have a bet both ways. On the one hand, GRRRP acknowledges it is a registered political party in this newspaper indeed. Still, on the other, GRRRP attempts to persuade the voting public its members standing for election are genuinely independent or genuinely independent or simply independent. Indeed, we are inundated with authorised electoral material to this effect.
Such assertions of independents are simply not possible because these candidates are either one thing or the other. In other words, they cannot be partially pregnant as they are trying to be. They cannot have their cake and eat it too because they must choose to be a genuine independent or to be a member of GRRRP.
Local government candidates standing for election should be aware of section 329 (1) and (2)(a) of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) and the potential for candidates who mislead the voting public to be stood down?
GRRRP candidates must choose where their allegiances lie. They are either members of a political party sharing a common political platform, or they are genuine independents in the true sense of the word, expressing their own individual political philosophy. They cannot have it both ways.
Name withheld on request.
Editor note: The GRRRP have confirmed with the Leader they are a registered political party.
Well, done to the council for finally upgrading Barton Park to the tune of $31.1million and for wanting to protect the important wetland areas along the Cooks River and Muddy Creek.
But what about the Bicentennial Park Ponds corridor? It is a total disgrace! A lime green choking weed, plastic bottles and bags, dead ducks, and fish cover the whole waterway. Is this due to it being hidden away and therefore out of the mind of Bayside Council, or is it because the M6 motorway will soon place a cyclone fence around the perimeter for several years? Therefore no access will be permitted. According to property and land use reports for the M6 - Impacts on open space, "Temporary loss of access to Rockdale Bicentennial Park during construction(for around four years), including playing fields, skate park and playground. Compensatory facilities would be installed before construction of the project, to be determined in consultation with Bayside Council. Bicentennial Park would be reinstated following construction with enhanced facilities in consultation with Bayside Council and other key stakeholders.
No mention of rehabilitation of the ponds in the report!
The council have been contacted on six occasions since February 2021.
Sir Joseph Banks Pond has a new water fountain to aerate and improve water circulation; Scarborough Park also has aerators installed at various points along the waterway. So why not install at the Bicentennial Ponds.
Bicentennial Ponds is also a cycle, walking track and bird watching spot; therefore deserves an upgrade urgently before the migratory birds frequently disappear and the Kookaburras do not laugh anymore.
Royal Life Saving is asking your readers to be especially vigilant of children around the water this summer and to keep watch at all times.
Our new research shows 532 children aged four and under drowned in the past 19 years. It also shows that a child's risk of drowning triples after their first birthday; 40 per cent of children were just one year old when they drowned.
Eight children are admitted to the hospital for every fatal drowning in this age group following a non-fatal drowning. Some will sustain life-long brain injuries.
We know summer is when young children are most at risk. Swimming pools are the leading location for drowning among children, accounting for more than half of all deaths.
The four things we recommend to prevent drowning are: actively supervise children around water (supervise); restrict children's access to water (restrict); teach children water safety skills (teach); and learn how to respond in the case of an emergency (respond).
This year has been challenging for parents and carers who are juggling so much. Around the water, you can't multitask and just check that email - actively supervising children needs your complete attention and you need to be within arm's reach. Drowning in children is quick and silent.
Please check your pool fence and gate to make sure they are in working order.
You can get more information at www.royallifesaving.com.au.
Kids can't help themselves around water. You need to. Keep Watch.
CEO, Royal Life Saving Society - Australia.
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