Wednesday, February 28, 2007

olexander - what a cop out

FORMER state Liberal MP Andrew Olexander was last night awarded a lifetime taxpayer-funded pension potentially worth $2.2 million. The decision at a secret late-night meeting means he will receive a pension worth up to $60,000 a year, indexed, for life.

Yarra Ranges Shire Council's deputy mayor Samantha Dunn said locals were outraged at Mr Olexander's generous perk following such a short term in office. "I think it's fair to say that he's pretty poorly represented our community," Cr Dunn said.

"It's a slap in the face for locals to see him walk away with such a golden handshake. "What disappoints us the most is that you should get into politics because you're passionate about the community, not about the perks. "This sort of thing just continues to give politicians a bad name."

"It's pretty hard to justify how he deserves that amount of taxpayers' money given what he gave the community – which is to say not much at all." "The mind boggles at the machinations at these sort of committees. And the trustees that are ruling on these things are not truly independent."

"We can think of far better ways to spend taxpayers' money," she said. Cr Dunn said $2 million could be put to better use providing much-needed soccer and netball grounds or upgrades to the area's many parks.

She was unaware of any efforts by Mr Olexander to improve facilities for the community.

Source: The Herald Sun 28/02/07 - written by Ellen Whinnett, Ashley Gardinerand Matthew Schulz with AAP


Saturday, February 03, 2007

belgrave to get another roundabout

The Shire of Yarra Ranges has made a successful application for federal funding to construct a roundabout at the intersection of Belgrave-Gembrook Road, Bayview Road and Old Monbulk Road in Belgrave. Anyone who knows this intersection is aware of what a "dog's breakfast" it is.

It’s a very positive move, from the standpoint of safety and accessibility, but I believe in the longer term we need to look at ways of reducing traffic flow through Belgrave and other hills townships, not just facilitate its movement.

As a matter of urgency, we need to address community and environmental concerns about the increasing volume of traffic in our townships, however for all of us who've actually tried to get out of the train station car park in peak hour, be it in a car or on a bus, we now stand a chance of doing so safely.

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