On Tuesday night Campbelltown Council will vote whether to approve a plan for one of its senior staffers to attend a tour of East London in the United Kingdom. Having read the report included in the business paper, I can tell you that this proposed trip, which would cost ratepayers more than $10,000 (plus GST and airfares), is nothing more than a junket.
When I say that it is a junket I mean from the point of view of someone from Campbelltown jetting off to the other side of the world to ostensibly learn how they do things over there.
Councillors need to think hard about this proposed trip and whether ratepayers’ money should be used to facilitate it.
The main thing to note here is that East London could not be more different from Campbelltown.
It’s London inner city, mostly along the banks of the Thames River and the North Sea, while we’re definitely outer, outer city.
Think docks for shipping and old industrial areas which have undergone urban renewal as opposed to the sheep country our region is built on top of – there is no similarity whatsoever.
The report from the Campbelltown Council general manager says “Campbelltown City Council is one of the select number of invitees’’ to take part in the trip.
Well, I’m sorry GM, but as a ratepayer who has to find $857.50 by August 31 to pay my first instalment of the 2018-19 council rates, I have to inform you that I am not impressed by such an invitation.
All up, I will pay $3,429,70 in rates this year, and I really don’t want one cent of that to go towards this junket or any other wasteful activity.
And it doesn’t really matter how you dress it up: if something looks like a junket, it usually is a junket.
With an election in a little over 12 months, hopefully issues like how they spend hard working ratepayers’ dollars concentrate the minds of our elected representatives when they vote on this on Tuesday night.