What the Hell is wrong at Canning? A few weeks ago it boasted it would “jointly lead” an “innovative hub” on coronavirus responses, but by yesterday it appeared incapable of working out how to reopen its two pools and four libraries.
And the Minister for Local Government was not amused at the thought councils might not return facilities to the communities that fund them, as Phase 2 of coronavirus-imposed restrictions are lifted from Monday 18th May 2020:
Local Government Minister David Templeman said local councils should find a way to open their pools and sporting facilities within the guidelines.
“I really don’t think there are problems or impediments that can’t be overcome by local government,” he said.
“I’m not saying that there’s not going to be some complications, but as we’ve already seen … people have complied very, very well.”
Mayor Patrick Hall’s interview with ABC radio, later Channel 2’s evening news, as to why a large, well-funded council was not going to reopen its huge pools and four libraries, was a study in train wreckage (all links at bottom):
- Canning has two leisureplexes yet Hall focused on one, which is having work done on it now while the other is presumably ready to go
- With over 3000 people using each leisureplex normally it was “too hard” to select just 20 people to use them at any one time now
- When asked if Canning could do a booking system, or a “ballot” Hall referenced how one of City of Stirling’s pools was having work done…..?
- Hall even managed to ignore the fact it was the Premier who authorised the reopening of pools and libraries – now – instead inferring that because the Premier is “taking a cautious approach [we, too, can look at relaxing the numbers in a few more weeks]”
- Whether it was opening up the pools or the libraries, Hall intimated the City could be overrun with hordes of residents wanting to get in….
- Finally, this: Hall said “We have….people who are actually disabled and infirm that are recuperating in our pools — so we’re not sure how we would…”… For years Canning has had little interest in its disabled community and council meeting audios throughout 2019 bear witness to that. To invoke this sector’s welfare now is, in my view, as weak as it gets.
But wait…. there’s more….
Hall came out with something equally thin as to why it will only re-open one of its four libraries. Apparently the “low socioeconomic” areas of Bentley, St James and Cannington – our “CBD”, which Council is forcing ratepayers to fund $70m+ to upgrade as it fails to attract state or federal funding – are [in need of access to computers].
I think Curtin University has had that covered from the start, from computer labs to free circulating buses*.
I’ll bet Premier Mark McGowan is going to be as thrilled to hear Hall’s “low socioeconomic south eastern belt” descriptor applied to Bentley, where his Minister for Housing, Peter Tinley, is spending millions to yield up billions in land value over the next 20 years, as he will be to find that Canning is apparently expecting his Public Sector Commission (the Premier’s portfolio includes the Public Sector) to pay for one of its staff to “jointly lead” the “coronavirus hub”, at the same time he learns that his apparent unwillingness to allow more than 20 people at a time to use council pools and libraries is the reason Canning won’t be allowing residents back in to them for another month.
As for Mayor Patrick Hall, he has a tendency to fall back on cadence, on the referencing of extraneous items, to get through a lot of conversations, media appearances and chairing of council meetings. As far as I’m concerned that’s becoming about as slick as goose-shit sliding across a linoleum floor – and isn’t helping anything.
Train wreckage, in three parts, below – as luminaries such as the City of Vincent reveal how its arranged to cover all contingencies and allow up to 60 people a time in to Beatty Park as of Monday.
ABC 720 Perth, 12 May 2020, Interview with Mayor Patrick Hall, City of Canning:
Video from Channel 2 news, 12 May 2020 – featuring Vincent’s agility in reopening big council facilities and Minister for Local Government’s displeasure that some councils may not:
*Hall referenced students as relates “low socioeconomic” need to reopen just one library (at the Cannington Leisureplex). Curtin University’s computer labs have remained open throughout the time of coronavirus restrictions, as confirmed by Curtin Security 13 May 2020, and the City also operates a library at Bentley, where many students live and where very few books remain today.
More to come….
City of Canning’s current council: