Category Archives: Social Issues

Occupy East Dapto

CRED invites all residents of East Dapto to get informed and get involved in the coming Occupy Sydney meeting at Martin Place on October 15. Concerned citizens will rally at 2:30 and begin the process of shaping the vision for a different Australia. So why bother? Will it make a difference? What has this got to do with our community?

Firstly, this is not just a support or sympathy rally for Occupy Wall Street – even though the events of Wall Street do directly impact our daily lives. Occupy Sydney is one of several rallies nationwide to address Australia’s concerns. Our situation is not as dire as America at present, thanks to the mining boom and modest levels of national debt. Yet we share the same structural unfairness that locks 99% of Australians out of the game. Consider our local issues.

We have already lost ownership of the once publically owned Tallawarra Lands to a subsidiary of China Light and Power. The land was sold well below market price by the corrupt Bob Carr government in 1997. Now I’m sure you would like some bargain basement real estate with lake views? So how come a foreign company gets the chance that we don’t? Could it be that they are the 1% and we are the 99%?

When the development was proposed, a consultant to TRUEnergy conducted a community survey. The scope of the survey was to discover the community’s attitude towards the proposed development and preferred use for the land. Several times I have asked to see the results of this community survey. As an affected resident, I was refused because apparently community opinion is “commercial in confidence?” When did community opinion become a trade secret? How could this happen? Could it be that they are the 1% and we are the 99%?

Consider our pool? Once we had free access. Maintenance and staffing was covered by rates and even the poorest of the poor could take their kids for a free, fun day out. What happened? Already struggling, the cost of heating the pool was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Why don’t rates cover the cost of providing community services? Why does the State Government not adequately fund our community? Could it be that they are the 1% and we are the 99%.

What about the problems of social disadvantage, poor education outcomes, vandalism and crime? Why aren’t Australia’s wealthiest companies and citizens making a big enough contribution to adequately provide the prevention, education and social services to adequately improve the lot of our disadvantaged people? After all – our natural resources belong to all of us. Surely a compassionate and progressive society like Australia that values a fair go would do what it takes to fix this? Isn’t THAT the ANZAC spirit? Yet when the Federal Government proposed a Super Profits Tax, the 1% spent millions on advertising to defend their greed! Our Government dared not to even contemplate a tax on Bank Super Profits. Maybe it’s because they are the 1% and we are the 99%?

In these wildly prosperous times, why do such a large proportion of us have no job at all, not enough hours or a full-time job that still leaves us struggling to pay rent, food, water and electricity? Is it because they are the 1% and we are the 99%?

So if you think this is just about the USA or Sydney – think again. The actions of the wealthiest 1% directly affect your life, your dreams and your prospects. You have already seen their impact on electricity, water, rent and housing costs. If you have a job, you have already seen the demands for endless productivity gains when you are already working at full capacity. So what are you going to do? This is not just about protesting. The “Occupy” movement needs your voice, your heart, your ideas – or simply to know that you want to see a fairer world, country and community. Find out more at I hope to see you at Martin Place – or on the wonderful 2 hour train ride to the City.


Community Strategic Plan

This just in from the terminally ill NSW Government:

A new approach to planning and reporting

A new planning and reporting framework for NSW local government has been introduced. These reforms replace the former Management Plan and Social Plan with an integrated framework. It also includes a new requirement to prepare a long-term Community Strategic Plan and Resourcing Strategy. The essential elements of the new framework are outlined in these Guidelines. Guidance to assist councils to implement the new framework is explained in the supporting Planning and Reporting Manual.

The Community Strategic Plan

The Community Strategic Plan is the highest level plan that a council will prepare. The purpose of the plan is to identify the community’s main priorities and aspirations for the future and to plan strategies for achieving these goals. In doing this, the planning process will consider the issues and pressures that may affect the community and the level of resources that will realistically be available to achieve its aims and aspirations. While a council has a custodial role in initiating, preparing and maintaining the Community Strategic Plan on behalf of the local government area, it is not wholly responsible for its implementation. Other partners, such as State agencies and community groups may also be engaged in delivering the long-term objectives of the plan.

Community Strategic Plan

* Each local government area is to have a Community Strategic Plan that has been developed and endorsed by the council.
* The Community Strategic Plan is to identify the main priorities and aspirations for the future of the local government area.
* The Community Strategic Plan must cover a minimum timeframe of 10 years.
* The Community Strategic Plan must establish strategic objectives together with strategies to achieve those objectives.
* It must address social, environmental, economic and civic leadership issues in an integrated manner.
* Council must ensure the Community Strategic Plan is adequately informed by relevant information relating to social, environmental, economic and civic leadership issues.
* It must be based on the social justice principles of equity, access, participation and rights.
* The Community Strategic Plan must give due regard to the State Plan and other relevant state and regional plans.
Community Engagement
* Each council must prepare and implement a Community Engagement Strategy based on social justice principles for engagement with the local community in developing the Community Strategic Plan.

The Resourcing Strategy
The Community Strategic Plan provides a vehicle for expressing long-term community aspirations. However, these will not be achieved without sufficient resources – time, money, assets and people – to actually carry them out.
The Resourcing Strategy consists of three components:
* Long Term Financial Planning
* Workforce Management Planning
* Asset Management Planning.

The Resourcing Strategy is the point where Council assists the community by sorting out who is responsible for what, in terms of the issues identified in the Community Strategic Plan. Some issues will clearly be the responsibility of Council, some will be the responsibility of other levels of government and some will rely on input from community groups or individuals. The Resourcing Strategy focuses in detail on matters that are the responsibility of the council and looks generally at matters that are the responsibility of others.

for more information see:

US teens drown

US teens drown.

This is why WCC’s policy on pools will lead to more drownings:

The drowning “confirms that what we are finding, that this continuing cycle of people not knowing how to swim and their children not knowing how to swim and still being around water”, said Sue Anderson, USA Swimming’s director of programs and services. “It’s the continuing lack of awareness of how important it is that children learn how to swim.”

The federal government says African-Americans drown at a rate 20 per cent higher than white people. A lack of access to swimming pools and a lower interest in swimming skills are among the possible explanations, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Dapto School Update

I spoke with Rebecca Flinn from the Illawarra Community Housing Trust today. She states “this is not social housing, this is for middle income earners who cannot afford market rents.” Aparrently only half the site will be used for the units and the other half sold off, so its not too late for a community park. The only question is how? I know Dapto Anglican Church were interested in the land and were supportive of designating some land for a community park. Perhaps Council could buy some? Maybe there are grants available that might help? What do you think? For more info on the project you can call Rebecca Flinn on 4254 1129, or email Wednesday to Friday. I’ll post more details as they become available and after reviewing the Council Documents.

Ken Davis

Scholarship – Community Development & Leadership Program

Do you work in the community or not for profit sector? Would a
scholarship towards further education and gaining management skills
help your career? The Community Leadership and Development Program
(University of Wollongong Sydney Business School) is for leaders, or
those who aspire to a leadership position, in the not for profit and
community sector in the Illawarra.

The program will provide a scholarship for successful applicants to
complete a Graduate Certificate of Management and include provision
for the purchase of textbooks. It will also provide the opportunity to
be mentored by an industry leader. In 2010 two Graduate Certificates
of Management will be offered to leaders, or those with the potential
for leadership, community sector in the Illawarra.

Applicants for the 2010 Program Community Leadership and Development
Program must be in a leadership position, or aspire to a leadership
position, in the community or not for profit sector in the Illawarra.
Applicants must have a relevant tertiary qualification along with at
least two years professional work experience. People interested who do
not have qualifications but who have significant experience at a
managerial level will also be considered.

The closing date for the lodging application is Friday, 11 June 2010.
Find more information at

Community Consultation

It’s easy to whinge about our Council, but we have seen some positive signs in recent days.

  • We’ve been able to meet with Community and Cultural Services, and Admins.
  • All of our submissions have actually recieved written responses.
  • Council has released a Community Consultation Discusion Paper.

So if you want to have your say about having your say – go here


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