IT is important to celebrate the work of ACT politicians when they achieve great things. There are examples of achievements such as the agreement for the integrity commission and the lead in renewable energies.
However, a complete assessment of their performance must include how they pay attention to issues that affect individuals. There is one unfortunate example playing out right now in Weston Creek.
My November 18 post titled “The minister, the bureaucrats and the donkeys” outlined the desperate circumstances of a resident notified by the bureaucrats that they would not be renewing her licence to have her horses, ponies and donkeys on a site in Weston Creek. There was no logic to this and no other uses of the land have been identified.
Minister Mick Gentleman has signed letters and decisions written by his staff. However, his lack of interest in what’s happening to a very kind person is not the whole issue.
There are implications for all ACT politicians as all of them would be aware of the terrible circumstances underway unless they live under a rock.
Weston Creek being in the Murrumbidgee electorate has the following politicians who should be paying attention to this: Bec Cody (Labor), Chris Steel (Labor), Jeremy Hanson (Liberal), Giulia Jones (Liberal) and Caroline Le Couteur (Greens).
Le Couteur has tabled questions, but given the bureaucratic processes, there will be no response (if any) till later in 2019 – well after the date set down (December 31) for the woman concerned to get her animals off the property.
Looking for some assistance from all female members of the ACT Assembly to deal with the unnecessarily harsh way this is being handled by a couple of bureaucratic blokes, a letter was written to the women politicians. Nope, no sisterly support there besides some who sent the usual “thanks for the letter – not my problem” answer.
Letters have been written to others including Shane Rattenbury and the Chief Minister. “Not in my portfolio” would be the easiest way of summing up their view (besides having more important things to do).
All ACT politicians have walked past this issue and so this is the standard they accept – that this well-meaning individual can be treated badly because bureaucrats have deemed this is so and have written spurious arguments for their obedient minister to sign.
So at Christmas 2018 we have a collective of ACT politicians who are too busy to take an interest in and to see this matter settled so that individuals can get on with their lives without being constant harassment of the government’s bureaucratic processes.
By their actions and lack of empathy, all these politicians now own this bad behaviour.
This has been going on since the sudden arrival earlier in 2018 of the notice to quit. It is not complex. But the solution would be simple – just grant the licence.
There would be no cost to the government and all it would do would make one person and a host of locals who support her very happy at this time of the year.
Despite all this bad behaviour from politicians and bureaucrats, locals went ahead with their Christmas celebrations on the site last Sunday. People showed up to sing and have fun while witnessing the passing of three wise ones on their historic journey.
What’s the point here?
At this time of celebrations it would be very kind if any of the politicians mentioned could urgently do something not very significant for them but of great importance to others. Please extend that licence to allow use of the site on the north corner of Holder to be used for fun – to have a few horses, ponies and the occasional donkey there for others to enjoy – and keep the land free of weeds.
Make it a merry Christmas for others.
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Ian Meikle, editor