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Byron Shire
June 7, 2023

Potholes a political ploy?

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Geoff Dawe, Ocean Shores

It could be assumed that state governments are aware that people generally have a belief that state governments inefficiently duplicate powers that could be handled by the federal government, and that local government is a more democratic arm of government than state government. Local government, for example, is more responsive to the needs of local people because councillors are well aware that people can more easily buttonhole them on the streets.

There is a movement afoot to amalgamate shires for reasons of economic efficiencies. Quite apart from the fact that movement toward economic efficiencies or economic sustainability, as I have previously explained, is not movement toward sustainability but deeper into the denial that we have an environment crisis, shire amalgamations could be seen as a gradual movement to reduce the number of shires until only a state government is left. It is quite obviously movement toward centralised power that is counter to the movement toward bioregionalism, rural interdependence, strengthened local government, and therefore strengthened democracy.

Potholes in roads become a problem because local councils are under-resourced by the state government preventing resourcing by such means as councils taxing tourism to provide more for local government infrastructure.

Because potholes cannot be fixed efficiently by this under-resourcing, there is clamouring for change such as amalgamation of shires, which is exactly what the state government can be presumed to want.

It is a political ploy of this time of the selling of public assets and putting them into private hands for governments to simply underfund areas that they want to sell off so that people will scream for anything better, including privatisation. Both public health and education can be seen to be suffering this at the present time, as a means of herding people into private health funds and private schools.

The state government can be viewed as a conglomerate of private interests, and that can be clearly seen in their support for CSG mining overriding the wishes of the people. The under-resourcing of local infrastructure can be assumed to be the same sort of purposeful neglect by the state government that underfunds public education and health for the eventual profit of private interests.


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  1. Too true, Geoff!

    The better thing might be to cut out the middle-man state governments which take huge resources to maintain and duplicate a bureaucracy.

    This state government has tossed state-schools out on their ears…. They made principals ‘autonomous’ (read ‘fend for themselves’) with great fanfare last year and now they are cutting huge numbers of teacher funding.

    I know they are broke… so they would save a packet if they just distributed all the funds to the other portfolios and deleted themselves from the new structure…
    We could out-source them when we need them next 😉


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