OPINION: Windradyne Whisperer with Lachlan Sullivan

WELL, nominations will open in just over two weeks for those brave Bathurstians who wish to nominate for the September local government elections. 

SPACE RACE: Member for Bathurst Paul Toole and Bathurst Health Service general manager Sue Patterson talking about parking at the facility. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK cparkng3

SPACE RACE: Member for Bathurst Paul Toole and Bathurst Health Service general manager Sue Patterson talking about parking at the facility. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK cparkng3

Few people probably realise that being a councillor in NSW changed dramatically on September 23 last year.

Out went the old Section 8, the standard Council Charter in the Local Government Act, where residents at best had to rely on fairness but were specifically denied recourse to civil action if a council decision was negligent. 

The new Section 8 allows councils to do business with “others” - presumably just about anyone.

In essence, local government was corporatised, which created new responsibilities for councillors and all “decision makers”.  

A councillor's role is now more like that of a company director. Councillors have become responsible in law for their “decisions and omissions”.

Incredibly, the Office of Local Government website is still enticing people to become councillors under the old rules without reference to the new S8. Hands up who wants to be a councillor under the new rules?

Parking space exploration

WELL, it’s taken a while, but a solution in part may be at hand for parking problems at Bathurst Health Service (BHS). 

I first wrote of a possible solution in early August 2008, saying the unused land on the northern side of the new facility might be a possibility. No one listened or cared. 

No one cared the previous State Government promised 118 car parks in a two-storey undercover car park on Mitre Street that simply disappeared from the final plans. 

Turn the clock forward to July 2016 and I had another go at getting someone to listen, inviting State Member Paul Toole to inspect a possible solution. Now, 12 months later (a millisecond in political years), we have a serious review of the situation. 

However, more spaces is not the total solution to parking woes at the BHS. 

The biggest issue for the BHS general manager is able-bodied staff insisting they are entitled to park at the front door of the hospital, taking car parks from the elderly, their carers, the infirm, the sick, their visitors or the disabled. 

Day staff should not be permitted to park in Howick Street between Mitre and Commonwealth streets. A short walk will be good for their well-being.

Bring back the beauty

I ASKED a few weeks or so ago what had happened to the CBD Beautification project (or CBD Infrastructure Upgrade as I believe it’s now called). 

While I was never a fan of the design (a rip-off of a then 20-year design strategy used predominantly in Canberra), which has reduced parking within the CBD and clogged traffic since its completion, it is now looking tired after pavers have been lifted or lost and been replaced (lazily) with bitumen. 

I don’t think it would take much effort for council to complete a little maintenance in the centre of the CBD to tidy it up.

Thumbs Up

STATE Member Paul Toole finally getting the ball rolling to review parking availability around the Bathurst Health Service.

Thumbs down

BATHURST Health Service employees parking at the front door of the hospital.

                                                   - LACHLAN SULLIVAN