Ship’s sinking… throw the cat another goldfish

QUEANBEYAN, AHOY! They’re spending like drunken sailors over at the rapidly-sinking ship of state, the leaking and listing “Wingin-carribee.”

Starting to look more like the good ship Venus of rugby songbook illfame. But it must be a good place to work, since 543 hopefuls applied for the 21 outdoor staff positions advertised last week.

Last week we mentioned the long-awaited sweet voice of reason from DGM Corporate and Finance, Ann Prendergast and welcome it was..

Following another episode of the long-running comedic “Raffery’s Rules” in the Star Chamber playhouse, one could excuse Ms Prendergast if her words would have been far from sweet and mellow as the mayoral ruling clique systematically dismantled her very first budget.

With an airy, Caesar-like waft of his pale hand, John “my vote rules” Uliana said “the staff will find it” of yet another unbudgeted, but no doubt popular extravagance to spend $120,000 to upgrade the rugger buggers cave out at Eridge Park.

That’s despite a planning proposal, which probably won’t happen, to move the sports fields out to Wongabri in a mooted land swap.

To satisfy a determined Holly “historical not hysterical” Campbell they’ll also have to find up to $50,000 for a business plan to look at acquiring crumbling historic pile, Throsby Park.

Not to buy TP, or even to submit a business plan… just to prepare it.

Former mayor Duncan “do right” Gair pleaded with the now-entrenched majority to consider ratepayers.

Dunc pointed out that an eleventh-hour decision, driven by Dep’ty Dawg Larry “hear my words” Whipper to save a couple of diseased Merrigang Street trees and derail the reconstruction job for another year would cost $150,000.

“That’s 150 average ratepayers’ contribution to the general fund” he lamented, ending inevitably with “where will it end?”

BOSS LADY, mayor and finance chair Juliet “a casting vote is MY weapon” Arkwright left them in no doubt the looming shadow of the afore-mentioned Queanbeyan-based county council should not deter bold spending in the interim.

“This is no time to be pulling back” she intoned, Thatcher-like in her intensity “this is not a timid council, allowing external forces to shape our destiny.”

One can imagine that in the corporate and finance caves of council, there will be earnest beavering as WSC Inc lurches into deficit from a shopping list of desirable projects from the fertile minds of the ruling majority.

No problems with deficit budgeting… look at Julia.

Do we have a Julia-ette of our own?

BE CAREFUL what you wish for.

Chairing his first meeting in the star chamber Garry “Kojak” Turland came fresh-polished and confident, albeit an hour past the advertised race time, due to Lazza’s rearguard action against the tree-pulling operations mob.

Bang! Bang! Thanks mam! The motions were skittling over like tenpins.

“This is too easy” quoth Kojak, beaming out at the near-empty chamber from which the Merrigang Street activists had departed, secure in the knowledge that the $1.9 million job on Bowral’s most needy thoroughfare won’t start for another year.

Yvonne Springett got her private covered riding academy, DAs were rubber stamped, tenders for the Mossie pool were flicked to closed, as was a land-swap plan for the Coles car park and a report on fire safety from the firies and then Gazza got his wish… in spades.

The demolition of the thrust of the draft budget and operational plan, on which most councillors (with one notable exception, eh John) had worked for months, was quite random, a child pulling a frail toy apart.

The DGM Ms Prendergast and chief bean-counter, the redoubtable Barry ” I eat CDOs for breakfast” Paull told of a decade-long future plan, finely tuned with a tiny surplus possible for 2013/4, even allowing another $500,000 to subsidise the incomplete swimming hole (it still is just a roofed hole) but warned of the need to properly maintain existing infrastructure.

Ian “ideas, ideas” Scandrett missed getting an extra $700,000 for sport and rec. but there’s $1.3 million to subsidise the four pools, $5 mill. loan for the civic centre upgrade, another $2.5mill to upgrade Mittagong pool.

Inevitably, all rates and charges will go up modestly but, predictably, no mention was made of the somewhat-erratic land values increases.

All up in the air in a war of words which left Gazza gasping.

If any readers really care, the budget goes on public exhibition on Monday for a month but the cynical remarks passed suggested very few ratepayers will bother to contribute…rather like the sleepers of Merrigang Street and make a big fuss after all the planning has been done.

RANDOM destruction on the night included the committee system, with once again the entrenched majority (and mayor’s extra vote) holding sway.

Gair was unceremoniously booted off the chairmanship of the planning committee in favour of Uliana, probably on the basis that the latter, having had little to do with such matters in the seven months as a councillor, must come with fresh and innocent intent. Or something like that.

Kojak, too was unpopular with the rulers and will have little to do in the coming years, no matter how many voters gave him the big independent tick back in September. All forgotten now, the real ballot is five to four.

Except that Graham ” O! to be in England now” McLaughlin is away for a few weeks.

Dunc sure missed his vote to throw out Holly’s Thobbers park frolic (casting vote) and chair of the planning stuff (same result).

We can only hope Dunc’s private and business life is going well, his civic one surely isn’t’

DUDLEY, leaving a Bowral pub with his mate, Paddy is hit by a car, so Paddy calls the ambulance

Paddy: ‘Get an ambulance here quick, he’s bleeding from his nose and ears and I tink both his legs are broken.’

Operator: ‘What is your location sir?’

Paddy: ‘Outside number 28 Wingecarribee Street .’

Operator: ‘How do you spell that sir?’

Silence…. (heavy breathing) and after a minute.

Operator: ‘Are you there sir?’

More heavy breathing and another minute later.

Operator: ‘Sir, can you hear me?’

This goes on for another few minutes until….

Operator: ‘Sir, please answer me. Can you still hear me?’

Paddy: ‘Yes, sorry bout dat… I couldn’t spell Wingecarribee, so I just dragged him round to number 3 Short Street .’

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美睫培训.