24th Mar Update …

Hi all,

Yesterday – (23rd Mar) –  I again tried to speak with Ms Desmond – the Acting CEO of the Fraser Coast Regional Council.  I was seeking to have some dialog with the CEO over the pool access costs for the FCATA program – and follow up the message I sent her on the 11th March. There has been no response to this message to date.  I was informed on the 18th Mar that the e-mail message had been received and printed out.

I was told that Ms Desmond was locked in meetings all day and that matters had backed up on the CEO – the reason for that backup was of course on the News last night about the Council workers going on strike.

Instead – I had a pleasant conversation with her Aid – Katherine.  She was very loyal and spoke of the CEO’s workload – and I then began to understand a few things.

Whilst this FCATA issue is an important issue from my and many others perspectives – it is one of  many issues the CEO is dealing with on a day to day basis.  She is under immense pressure as the ‘ACTING’ CEO  and the Councillors are extracting their pound of flesh as she tries to prove herself worthy.  But then with a Salary of $250,000 plus perks and superannuation – one would expect that the workload would be fierce.

During the conversation – her Aid let slip that there were over 1600 ‘unread e-mails’ in the CEO’s inbox – when I heard it I asked her to confirm the number – she did.

This spoke volumes as to where the FCATA sits on the CEO’s agenda.  The fact that no acknowledgment or auto response has been received suggests that someone needs to give the Acting CEO some help in making her understand that ‘auto-response’ messages at least give the sender of the e-mail some idea that it has been received – and that the matter has been logged.

Can you imagine what important information might be contained in those ‘unread e-mails’?  I don’t know how many messages she receives a day – but to read and act on 1600+ messages would take many days – perhaps weeks to deal will all the issues involved.  Surely some sort of delegation of responsibility would be in order to ensure that those ‘unread messages’ are dealt with in order of importance. This might just be an insight to why Council takes so long to respond or action anything.

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For several months – since August last year and before – I have continued to pound this council for their inaction over pool admission prices for concession card holders.   That same battle is now taking place in the form of FCATA and trying to extract from Council a price for the FCATA and its future members to go to the pool.

In Oct/Nov last year – the Mayor showed immense disrespect and contempt for the concept of this program in the after math of a meeting I had with him in late Sept 2010.  At the end of that meeting he looked me in the eye – shook my hand – and told me and his Director Community Development who was also in attendence – ‘No – we will do something now to fix this!’

His offer came two weeks later via his Director Community Development – Peter Smith – in the form of a one off arrangement for me to to pay the GENERAL PUBLIC price for a yearly ticket on a monthly basis – the proviso being that I had to pay it at the Council chambers rather than the pool so as to avoid any public awareness of the arrangement. This was an individual offer to me personally when the Mayor knew I was approching him on the basis of all concession card holders.

In an interview with the Pool Manager two weeks ago – he told me that the pool had been offering this arrangement to all purchases of season tickets if they asked for it for several years.

That made the Mayors offer absolutely hollow – a joke – and an insult to all the efforts to convince him to the moral and logical reasons to make a fair decision for the ‘concession card’ group wanting to use the pool.  His offer was an ‘up yours’ response and needs to be exposed for the total lack of responsibility he showed in the position he holds. This man is not worthy to hold the office he does if this is the way he treats marginalised residents living in his constituency.

To provide further information about the Councillor response to the FCATA program – there has only been 3 Councillors respond to any of the 15-20 or so e-mails I have sent to All-Councillors about this program and the Admission price debate since Sept-Oct last year.

That is a pathetic response from a group of Councillors who preside over the 5,500+ disability pensioners in the region – the highest number per capita in QLD – and 1,400+ who under carer attention – and the total 30,000+ over 55’s who are approaching a period in their life where a program such as this will benefit them greatly into the future – and help them remain independent livers.

This Council are not forward looking people – they have no vision about what this program is about – nor what it can and will provide for so many isolated and marginalised residents in this region.  On a matter of such importance and significance for the Fraser Coast region – I would have imagined all the Councillors would have been enthused about a program like this and have made some sort of supportive contact.

Each of the State MemberMr Foley and Mr Sorensen and the Federal Member Mr Neville, have given their support for the program – why is it that council are last to come on board.

The program needs community support to attack this Council and make them aware of how they have misjudged the need for a program like this.  Please ring your Local Councillor and badger them – make them feel pressured to support this program – ask them the question whether they support the program and why not if they say ‘No’.

If they say they support the program – ask them what they are doing about supporting the program – be persistent and not let them fob you off – get angry – express your emotion  – make them accountable for their view.

Please if you do ring your Local Councillor or State/Federal Member – and get a response [see below for Phone Numbers] – log on to this website and tell the readers of this blog your story and the Councillor/Member you rang and their response …  the link to that submission is here – or to the right under Menu Links.

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Phone Numbers:

Local Councillors:

To send an E-Mail to All Councillors – please this address: All-Councillors@frasercoast.qld.gov.au

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Please Ring your Local Members …

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