Archive:   Garbage Collection

Last Updated  6/9/07



Gung-Ho 6-to-3 Decision Forces Council Garbage Collection On Bullengarook, Gisborne & Gisborne South

(13/6/07 - C)   Councillors ignore community's 'no' to deliver someone else's agenda

Council recently sent out a survey form to residents in southern parts of the Shire, asking if they wanted Council waste collection services extended into their areas.  The survey form advised residents that if they did not respond, it would be counted as a "don't want the service" response.  In other words, no response = NO.  All up, Council received only a 36% YES response, which wasn't enough to justify extending the service.  Ah, but that didn't matter to some.


Six Councillors weren't having anything to do with what the community wanted in Bullengarook, Gisborne, and South Gisborne at the General Purposes meeting on Wednesday 6th June.  Nup.  Who cared that Council had sent out a survey asking people what they thought?  That Council's policy is that garbage services will only be provided when a clear majority of residents in the area request the service?  That Council had already decided not to investigate extending waste collection services until 2009?


Obviously not Councillors John Letchford (South) who moved the motion to overturn the officer's recommendation that the service not be provided, Helen Relph (South) who seconded the motion, Noel Harvey (West), Geoff Neil (East), Henry Bleeck (East) and Sandra McGregor (East).  The only Councillors who voted against providing the service were Rob Guthrie (South), John Connor (West) and Tom Gyorffy (West).  Cr. Gyorffy even raised the point that, as Council currently has a fixed waste collection contract, additional charges for the new service would have to be worn by Council until the contract is renegotiated.  His logic fell on deaf ears. 


The 1,007 "responses" received (excluding vacant lots) are summarised in the following table (as prepared by the Council officer):

Area Number
Nil Response= No Total
Overall 1007 365 116 526 642  36%
Bullengarook 226 89 36 101 137 39%
Gisborne  395 135 49 211 261 34%
Gisborne South 288 107  19 162 181 37%
New Gisborne 29 10  6 13 19 34%
Riddells Creek 69 24  6 39 45 35%


MRRA Says:


So if the majority don't want it, who's driving it to go ahead?  It's not as if we don't have enough to spend ratepayers' money on without forcing people to take something they don't seem to really want, and then generously picking up the tab.  We just hope these Councillors are as ready to face the music as they were to approve this. MRRA hears some of the now "collection-enforced" residents are baying for blood, and are prepared to take it to the highest levels after their views were so arrogantly and illogically ignored.  More power to the residents, we say.  Go get 'em, they deserve it after such a disgraceful - and non-democratic - performance.  


But hang on a minute - now here's a delicious thought.  Haven't our Councillors, by this action, just told us that what the majority wants doesn't count?  Hmm... If we applied the same principle to our Councillors, would that mean we could throw them out if we don't like them, even if they won the "majority" vote count at the last election?