Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Earn my vote!

Updated 31 Jul 04 - see inside

[Politics] Votes, polls, promises made and broken, celebrity candidates, backbench/frontbench phoenixes, preferences, dirty tricks, dirt units, inhale (or don't), exhale, repeat every couple of years. There're elections in the air and we must all attend. The ACT election is scheduled for 16 October, but there's speculation that it might be bumped depending on when the Federal election is called. This hasn't stopped candidates slaughtering forests of trees to produce pamphlets telling the electorate who they are & how they've served the community & asking for the precious vote.

I figured if Channel Seven's Sunrise show could run a Vote for Me promotion to get the breakfast-tv-watching population interested in politics by attempting to get one of their own into the Senate, I could at least ask the candidates the questions that would sway my vote, rather than just stand idly-by and then bitch when the person elected did nothing.

Two pieces that dropped into my letterbox caught my attention. Andrew Barr of the ALP seemed aware of some of the local issues, but hadn't made any mention of any solutions. Gordon Scott of the Liberals wanted me to know that he had the skills to provide solutions, but didn't tell me what they were. I wanted answers...

Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2004 21:51:35 +1000...

G'day Andrew,

I got your Kingston community notice in my letterbox and I've just had a chance to read it. I'm glad that you're aware of the local issues like the lack of street lighting on Kennedy St, the level of property crime and the lack of broadband internet access in apartment complexes, but what will you do to sort them out if elected?

I wasn't expecting much until...
Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2004 11:57:37 +1000 (EST)...

G'day Dean

Thanks for your email. Some good questions!

Some of those issues raised can be sorted out pretty quickly. For example, the lighting in Kennedy Street is now going to be fixed later this year as part of the "Community Crime Prevention Street lighting Initiative". There is money in the Budget to do it and the work is currently in the design stage.

Better lighting throughout the suburb will play a big part in reducing property crime but there are still specific problems like the large underground apartment car parks that require specific security upgrades and more Police attention.

One of the major problems in apartments is that the Body Corporate Management is often sadly lacking. There is a lack of accountability for body corporate funds, a lack of resident representation on many committees, an absence of affordable appeal rights, outlandish costs mechanisms (eg tenants that sue the body corporate successfully still have to pay the costs), favouritism by corporate managers in spending funds and poor service delivery by many strata title managers.

To fix these problems, there needs to be a significant rewriting of the Unit Titles Act 2001 (http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/2001-16/default.asp)

This issue is on the Stanhope Government's law reform agenda and I intend to campaign for it in the lead up to the election. I also undertake, if elected in October, to pursue the matter within the Assembly.

Finally, on internet access many people in apartments can't access ADSL because the developers cut costs and didn't install normal telephone lines. I'm not 100% up on the full technical details but apparently it has something to do with the telephone line being a "pair-gain" line that uses concentrators or multiplexers so that fewer wire pairs are used to provide a telephone service.

The same problem has occurred in parts of Gungahlin and West Belconnen - Federal and ACT Labor have been working together to pressure the telecommunications providers to provide broadband connections to these people.

If elected, I will take up the cause for people in apartments in the Inner South and Inner North who have been overlooked so far.

Another possibility is to examine some Government investment in wireless technology for these higher density areas. It would seem to be a reasonably cost effective way to deliver internet services to large numbers of people.

Anyway, I've taken up enough of your time, so thanks again for your interest and I hope this answers your questions.


I asked the same questions of the Liberal candidate, Gordon Scott, but he still hasn't replied to my e-mail of 14 July. Read into that what you will.

UPDATE: 31 Jul 04

Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2004 14:38:27 +1000
From: madge

Dear Dean

Thank you for your email. Sorry to have taken so long to get to it but I
have had terrible problems with my computer over the last 4 weeks, hopefully
its OK now. I am gratefull to you for pointing out a number of issues that
are concerning you I will certainly pass them on to Gordon and he will get
in touch with you soon about these issues.


Gordon Scott Campaign Committee.
Stay tuned for more.

Posted by Dean @ 7/27/2004 09:35:00 pm

Read or Post a Comment

Pity Blogger doesn't have trackback built-in. A few people have commented on this post on their own sites:

Marco's mentionKay's view from the Mountain

Posted by Blogger Dean @ Thursday, July 29, 2004 8:42:00 pm #

Now The RiotACT is getting in on the action.

Posted by Blogger Dean @ Thursday, July 29, 2004 8:54:00 pm #

Marco's mention

Posted by Blogger Dean @ Thursday, July 29, 2004 9:10:00 pm #

Good post Dean!

Yeah, the Kingston area is a shocker for property crime. And I know first had the problems getting either broadband internet or Transact into any bloody complex at all. I was told that TransAct pretty much bluntly refuses to cable any strata titled properties these days, because it's just not worth their trouble.

Posted by Blogger Matty @ Thursday, July 29, 2004 11:13:00 pm #

"Now The RiotACT is getting in on the action."

300+ stories on local politics, interviews with MLA's, e-mail from senators.

Yes Dean, we're just following your lead.

- John "Johnboy" Griffiths - RiotACT Editor.

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ Friday, July 30, 2004 10:11:00 am #

Crikey John, I'm not trying to get into a pissing contest with you, but look at the timing.

Posted by Blogger Dean @ Friday, July 30, 2004 12:55:00 pm #
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