$30 ready in hand

Ed, How unfortunate that Council’s General Manager, after reading my reply (CVI 4/5/16), did not publicly follow through on his claim that the long requested details of where Council spends over half a million of our dollars each year could be easily obtained through ‘simply’ lodging a GIPA request and parting with $30. Mr Greensill publicly wrote on these pages: “Any member of the community, including the Clarence Valley Independent, can obtain information on where Council’s advertising is spent – they simply need to lodge a formal Government Information Public Access (GIPA) request and pay the associated fees.” As there seemed to be a bit of ambiguity with regard to Mr Greensill’s use of the word ‘fees’ rather than the singular ‘fee’, I asked for a public guarantee that the only cost would be the oft mentioned $30 lodgement fee. I had my $30 ready to hand over to the Council that Charges for Information about where Our Money is spent. Sadly, the General Manager who started this mega phone dialogue through your pages has not replied. Perhaps next week the GM who assured us that the Rates Rises would be a cup of coffee a fortnight, will accept my generous offer. I hope this is not one of those ‘cup of coffee moments’ when we find out that the real costs for information about where Our money is spent could be hundreds or even thousands of dollars and still result in Council denying access. I’ll keep the $30 in my wallet till next week’s Independent is published. Next week is also when we learn if Council’s application for a 37% Rates Rise over 5 years has been approved by IPART. John Hagger, The Clarence Forum