Defeated in the effort to ensure fairer Hawkesbury Council Rates

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TEPAWxhUr8 Last night the Mayor moved a Mayoral Minute to try to make our rating system fairer. We failed. The vote was defeated 8:4. Some suburbs in the Hawkesbury are suffering under Council rates that are anywhere between 50% higher to 300% higher or more than other suburbs. This is despite those families having similar incomes and…

New land valuations give little relief for rates in most Hawkesbury suburbs

Residents around the Hawkesbury should be receiving their latest land valuation letters from the Valuer General. I got mine this week. I'll be making a more detailed analysis when some details crystallise, but since it's already been mentioned on social media, let me get some data out to you. Every few years, the VG revalues your land. It has nothing to do with the improved value of…

A Fairer Rating System

A Fairer Rating System Your Council rates have skyrocketed during this Council term. I voted against every rate rise, and against the changes to the rating formula that made matters worse. This Council rammed through a Special Rate Variation that jacked up everyone's rates by a third. Then it moved the "Base Rate" - a flat fee that evens out rates between families of equal income,…

Re-elect Councillor Nathan Zamprogno

Thank you for your support! The results of the Hawkesbury Council elections held December 4 2021 have been officially declared and I have been re-elected. ✅   I was elected free and clear on the primary vote without a reliance on preferences. ✅.  I was the first candidate declared elected in the count, up from 11th in the 2016……

Australian Councils deserve more help from the Federal Government

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbe8jx6TE3E I'm down in Canberra at the 27th National General Assembly of Local Government, and it's been a valuable experience. My head is swimming with statistics - the presentations have been excellent, covering the effects of COVID (both economic and health), initiatives to make communities more resilient, new technologies that aid in…

The NSW Productivity Commission White Paper and Local Government

The recently released NSW Productivity Commission report released by the NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet Being a good local government representative means understanding the landscape that Councils inhabit, and the way we interact with other tiers of government. So, it's well to pay attention when the State Government announces potential shifts in policy. Constitutionally, Local…

Mental health, psychological abuse and health regulation

I'm putting this post here to welcome those who are arriving at my site as a result of being quoted and linked in the August 2020 piece on VICE titled "I lost my wife to a cult", which is, sadly, the story of what happened to my own family. It's a tragedy, and painful to recount, and something I've tended to be private about with respect to my role as an elected Councillor. I consented to…

Op Ed: The commercialisation of national icons

I read once that there’s an ancient tomb in Rome inscribed with a plea: ‘Bill-poster, I beg you, pass this monument by. If any candidate's name is ever painted here, may he suffer defeat and never get an office.’ Strangely, that’s what I recall when I see the commentariat, furious this week over the use of the Opera House sails to advertise an event; in this case, a horse race. Some…

We have a new Mayor!

It is timely to have a word about tonight’s vote for the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. I witnessed some truly awful behaviour from the gallery in Council, so this is where I stand. The Liberal Councillors are four among twelve. We collaborate as best we can. But in this term, having no majority, our lot is limited to choosing the least worst from options put before us by others. We…

Demanding clarity on the future of the Hawkesbury

(Edit-- 27th June: The motion I put to Council on the 26th passed 11 votes to 1. Audio of the debate can be accessed below:) Original post: The whole messy process that has unfolded since March about road corridors has brought the issue of development in the Hawkesbury into focus. Everyone can see the  massive surge of housing and commercial building that has marched down Windsor Road and is…