A Chinese house that was standing somewhat defiantly in the middle of a new main road has finally been demolished. The house’s owner had told the press that he had just finished building the home. Resident Zhang Ling originally said: “They didn’t offer us enough compensation to leave, so we’re staying.”
Not anymore. Times like these that whole “red tape” thing doesn’t look too bad.
It’s Monday! What’s on your mind, folks?
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This Punch post isn’t about WWE wrestling. Nothing to do with star John Cena delivering an elevated chokeslam to Kane.
But it’s about something that shares a lot of amateur theatrics and even biffs: local politics in this country.
A hilarious story did the rounds yesterday about Holroyd City Council, near Blacktown in Sydney’s west. Restauranteurs at the La Vita restaurant in Merrylands on Tuesday found themselves witness to one of the council area’s great all-time political battles.
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The final battle against the carbon pricing scheme before its July 1 introduction will be amid the lumpy terrain and unpleasant pong of suburban garbage dumps. Local government will be fighting to the end the application of the $23-a-tonne penalty for carbon emissions which will be attracted by this usually unattractive community facility.
Meanwhile, the Government will be insisting the same territory, the local landfill site, will become a boon for municipal councils as it will lead to money making prospects for them.
Rubbish tips are an ideal political battleground because while most suburban types don’t own an aluminium refinery or a coal mine, they do cart their clippings and other waste to the tip regularly.
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We shop in supermarkets because we love the choice. We guzzle supersized drinks. We flock to superhero movies because we love the action, and when there’s horizontal action on the menu, apparently we’re red hot for super brothels too - unless they’re somewhere where we actually live.
The NSW land and Environment Court has given the green light for a really big red light in Sydney’s inner west. Plans for the expansion of the existing Stiletto brothel were originally rejected after a local Liberal councillor called it the “Westfield of brothels”.
There is no suggestion the councillor was referring to the likelihood of a two dollar knock shop appearing on the premises right beside a Mister Minit. Though when you think about it…
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Have you ever been to Balmain in the inner city of Sydney? Or have you been down a suburban shopping strip in your capital city? If you have you will know that something has changed over the years.
Even when walking down the shopping strip in your local town centre you are bound to have seen some changes. More often than not you will find that places like Balmain or your own local town centre are not as vibrant as they used to be.
There may be more vacant shops or the shops may be looking tired or run down which all makes the shopping strip less appealing. Some town centres may even be attracting gangs of youths or the graffiti artists which may all detract from the shopping strip.
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Are you fed up with paying more and getting less for a whole range of goods or services? Are you getting annoyed with the constant increases you face on basic necessities such as electricity, gas water, mortgages, and even car parking?
With survey after survey revealing how much financial stress that Australian families are being put under, it’s time that all governments, starting with the Federal Government, start doing something about the escalating cost of living.
What can be done? Well, two things stand out. First, Governments need to make sure that they don’t increase taxes and charges and where possible they should be actually reducing taxes. The harsh reality is that struggling Aussie families are being bombarded by hikes in Federal taxes and fees and now face the prospect of new taxes such as the so-called carbon tax.
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‘Tis the season to pretend there’s nothing wrong with starting Christmas celebrations this early in December, as we wind our way through the shopping malls and homemaker centres of suburbia.
We start in the southeast corner of Melbourne, where one council has decided to change up its approach to the festive season. The Mordialloc Chelsea Leader reports that Kingston council, sick of squabbling over public liability insurance rates, has packed up the tinsel streamers and hanging fairy lights – safe in the knowledge that no plastic stars can fall on the heads of passers by.
Instead, they’ve chosen to cover rubbish bins in Christmas wrapping. For the price of $26,000, some 200 bins in the area get to be wrapped with reusable Australiana-themed livery.
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The environmental policy of “planned retreat” pioneered by the excellent folks at the Byron Bay Council has created a handy precedent for those who find themselves locked in reluctant weekend battle with the forces of nature.
That group of people - often referred to as “husbands” - now has at its disposal a noble excuse for refusing to trim the edges, sweep up the lawn clippings or take out the vegetable scraps.
The next time you get a death stare because you’re entering your third hour on the couch in front of Fox Sports, the handy zen-like rationale is that you’re not bludging but walking lightly on this earth.
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My first brush with politics was in local government. I think I was eight.
My father was an independent ‘alderman’ on our local municipal council. A significant part of my youth was spent standing on polling booths, pounding the pavement to deliver Dad’s election newsletters and fielding constituent calls after school before Dad got home from work, as my older brother refused to answer the phone.
I remember one year standing on a polling booth for Dad where the big issue was council amalgamations. Dad was strongly opposed. So there I was, arguing the case for grass roots democracy against the monolith of big council bureaucracy.
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