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GREEN, PINK, BLAK – It washes all the same


Australia's Local Councils generate more than $45 billion in revenue each year.

It’s a LOT of money to provide localised services.


Councils are already under the watchful eye of ASIO for being a “soft target” to influence and interference. So, it is only natural that activists have descended on, inserted within, and appropriated their causes. They know it is money that can be easily appropriated or influenced.


Today, most companies have policies around the Environment, Climate Change, Sustainability, LGBTQIA+, and Indigenous Reconciliation. It's just an acceptable part of business culture that these things are somewhat expected by the public. Nothing wrong with that. But for the most part, these things are INTERNAL policies.

Those policies seek to ensure that discrimination is not tolerated, that actions and decisions of management are responsible to the environment, and that the organisation itself behaves ethically. In previous lives, I worked for the customer owned ethical bank industry and loved it.

It was not about virtue signaling, it was about acting responsibly and delivering BETTER products and services that not only provided what customers needed but did it with integrity.

I have long been a proponent of big companies having a corporate social responsibility lens. Companies must consider their social impact and ensure they actually treat people well, that they do not discriminate, that they treat us all with excellent service and no labels.

For most consumer (residents/ratepayers/businesses) we just expect companies to behave appropriately.


Today we are also faced with 3 concepts that truly can be weaponised, and they are particularly imbedded in our local councils:


Green Washing

Greenwashing is the process of conveying an impression about how a company’s products are environmentally sound. Greenwashing involves making an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly or have a greater positive environmental impact than they actually do.

Pink Washing

Pinkwashing is a critical term used to refer to the practice of attempting to benefit from purported support for LGBTQ+ rights, often as a way to profit or to distract from a separate agenda.

Blak Washing

Blakwashing is a term used to refer to practice of benefitting from supporting indigenous causes as a way to make an organisation look “indigenous friendly”.

 

Our local Councils are a hotbed of “washing”.


Greenwashing becomes proven the moment ANY Council purchases overseas carbon credits using ratepayers' money. Schemes that are untested, unproven, and cannot be seen as anything other than paying to "seem to be doing stuff" and feel better.

They do not at all address the "stuff of climate change", rather, they deny the real issues in sustainability and climate impacts.


Pinkwashing is also proven, the moment we start putting rainbow stickers on buildings or accrediting services as "LGBTQIA+ Pride Certified". First, we are not facing an epidemic of entry refusal to LGBTQIA+ people in our Council Pools and Libraries, and second, Councils do not have a LGBTQIA+ violence or discriminating problem they are trying to solve. There is absolutely NO DATA at all held by Councils that there is even an LGBTIQA+ discrimination or violence issue to be solved. Councils have long been a safe place for any LGBTQIA+ person!


Lastly, Blakwashing is continued through the ever growing welcome to countries and indigenous street naming that Councils are running at faster than you can say Referendum. Here is Yarra Councils' (VIC) latest iteration of the welcome to Country:


“Yarra City Council acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people as the Traditional Owners and true sovereigns of the land now known as Yarra. We acknowledge their creator spirit Bunjil, their ancestors and their Elders. We acknowledge the strength and resilience of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung, who have never ceded sovereignty and retain their strong connections to family, clan and country despite the impacts of European invasion. We also acknowledge the significant contributions made by other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to life in Yarra. We pay our respects to Elders from all nations here today—and to their Elders past, present and future.”


All this does is peddle a performative response to the indigenous community. There are real problems of abuse, alcohol, drugs and unemployment in indigenous communities, these "actions" do nothing to help any of it. They don't lift any indigenous person out of poverty or abuse or give them safety - they instead make many white people "feel good" about themselves, looking like they are doing something, when they are not. It's quite foul in my mind. It's disingenuous to say the least.


At a time when it is well established that the traditional service of roads, parks, street cleaning, gutters, footpaths, maternal health services, youth services, etc. are losing their appeal (code for Councils cannot be bothered lifting their game here), Councils all over Australia are rushing to pass strategies and action plans that are nothing more than Green, Pink or Blak washing.


Essentially whatever colour, it is all WASHING, nonetheless.


Despite many organisations having INTERNAL policies on these issues that most of us hear little about (phone companies, banks, water companies, energy companies, all have them), Councils have “one upped” everyone and scored their own goal. Yep, they just do not get it at all and are horrified when community members dare speak against all this washing.

In an age where Council Communications and Media teams have exploded, from the ever increasing need to enter damage control or the SPIN cycle of their rhetoric laden garbage, Councils cannot see how you and I see them, a tad pathetic.

Is it because any of us do not care about the struggles and plight of those who are claimed to benefit from Green, Pink or Blak washing – of course not.

It's just so damn hard to understand and accept that the pothole you complained about on snap, send, solve a year ago – that wrecked your car and many more, cannot be fixed because we have a crisis to fix in local indigenous issues. Of course, it is not indigenous issues that are preventing the potholes being fixed, they just sound sexier and more "do-gooder" in their impact. We are clearly running an emotional council agenda, not a practical one, based on service need and delivery.

Let’s be real, for all the thousands of hours, ideas, talk-fests, committee meetings, staff reports, boasting in council meetings, and fiery debate (including the shaming of any councillor who dares speak against such public virtue grandstanding) - NONE of this washing does anything for the actual resident. It doesn't actually increase or improve the services delivered.

There, I said it. It does nothing FOR US. NOTHING.

(Personally, as a Gay man, I am just so sick of labels, so sick of the need to box and define parts of who we are, in some perverse distraction tactic. Being gay does not define me anymore than being bald. Being bald is far sexier and hasn't been appropriated just yet. I am sure in the fullness of time we will need a Council baldness committee and social inclusion action plan for those with the condition. As for the LGBTQIA+ labels and social dogma, I am tired of hearing all of it, especially in our Councils. I can barely open a Council social media or LinkedIn without it being everywhere). I am also sick of having to say I am gay in order to have an opinion that is listened to, as if somehow not being gay cancels your opinions on anything LGBTQIA+.


Of course, to those within the ivory tower and the half empty multi-million-dollar council offices they so desperately "needed" to spend $30 million building, (paid for by us) feel like they are solving a problem. They are not. They are a bureaucracy that is becoming more out of touch with what we need.

What we need is for them to STOP TALKING about how virtuous they are, to stop telling us that these action plans and policies will improve the Council, because it won’t.

These washing topics have created cottage industries of suppliers and accreditation models that all take money away from core service delivery. Yes, this is a deliberate tactic. Follow the money. Follow the grandstanding. Follow the distractions.

The Green/Pink/Blak dollar is very powerful, but it is a total scam. A scam of distraction, from an industry that is desperate not to talk about the latest pathetic statewide results in Community Satisfaction with Councils - you can see them here:



As I said earlier, most companies have these internal policies, you might find them on their website, but good companies get on with delivering of the actual business you went to them for – bank accounts, gas or electricity, a mobile phone plan.

They keep it simple. They know their customer service will blow you away and make you connected to their products. At least that is the aim.


So why are Councils focused so strongly on the PUBLIC grandstanding of these issues?

It's simple. They know that 55% of Victorians rated the “direction of Councils” as something they are not at all happy with. So, Councils continue to dig themselves a bigger hole and seek to tell everyone how great they are with all this washing, hoping it might distract you from their failures.

It's also about Executives padding their resumes, and some Councillors grandstanding that they are an "ally" or some such other garbage.

Their false narrative is haunting them and leaving them exposed for who they really are:

Terrible service providers – that cannot fix the roads, keep the streets clean, plant enough trees, stop overdevelopment, listen to their communities, or make where you live, work, and play just “feel better.


Lessons from the UK.

We know that in looking at the UK local government industry, who is in the midst of an epic financial crisis, all this washing and lack of focus has ultimately financially ruined them. Of course, not the single issue causing financial ruin, rather, part of the "be everything model the UK is known for".


Here are some telling words:

Nottingham

Nottingham City Council became the latest local authority to issue a Section 114 notice, which means halting spending on anything that is not required by law.

Birmingham

The report's recommendations include prioritising services to residents and changing the behaviour of councillors and officers. The review was carried out for the city council, after a request from the government, by the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny.

It aimed to provide a broad overview of what went on in the run-up to Birmingham’s financial struggles. It included the council not knowing exactly how many people it employs and where they fit into the organisation.

 

The list of Councils in financial trouble is growing in the UK. Out of 317 local Councils 8 have gone bankrupt, with the total expected to reach 10% or more.

In looking at the Legislation that has clearly failed the good governance test.


This is what I found:


The role of UK Local Government is to promote the wellbeing of their community.

Councils in the UK can essentially do any and all things lawful to do so and must have a long list of strategies that show how they will promote said wellbeing.

What is most alarming is that here in Victoria, and in many other states, Local Government Acts have been changed dramatically.

The role of councils here is essentially to promote wellbeing, peace and order. Motherhood statements devoid of specific items.

They have removed the role of “service providers” which we traditionally know and want, and changed their purposes to those broad brushes we see in UK legislation.


Councils are arguing here that they do not want ANY form of defined role, and they want the right to be anything they decide to be. That is idiotic.


It is crystal clear; Australian Councils are on the very same path as the UK system where bankruptcy is becoming common, all because they want to be everything to everyone, but lack the financial resources to be unconstrained in their globalist agenda and pursuits.

 

What can you do about it? You can push back, get involved, tell them to STOP all the time and effort on these things, because you do not want to hear it – you expect them to act ethically not tell you how they will. We must lobby Councillors or replace them.


You can turn up to Council meetings, watch them online, write to Councillors and refocus them on THE BUSINESS OF COUNCIL – the roads, the footpaths, the green space, the rubbish collection. You know, the stuff YOU want them to do.


You can also elect Councillors in the next Council elections who think like this and refocus the bloated globalist thinking bureaucracy back on to LOCAL issues and LOCAL problems.


You can DUMP the current cohort of Councillors who think the role is to play nice little social lecturers.

 

That reminds me, I have some washing to do.




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Do you want Councils to be undefined in what they can do?

  • Yes, I want them to do whatever they want

  • No, I want them to have a defined list of responsibilities


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"Nottingham City Council became the latest local authority to issue a Section 114 notice, which means halting spending on anything that is not required by law." I would love to see the figures on what our local council spends on paraphernalia stamped/embossed/embroidered/printed with the council logo. Pens, notepads, picnic blankets, coasters... The other day at an event they were handing out "Logan City Council" socks! WTF? Why the hell do we need to spend on such things? Why does council need to be marketed and promoted in this way? Just do a good job and the name will find favour.

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Everything seems to be out-sourced these days to pass on the |"dangers" associated with a task for example the garbage collection. The fact it is not actually linked to the council directly means it is a private business with a view to making money. This makes them pressure their drivers in turn to collect as much as they can in a designated time. The result on the garbage collection day there is more garbage dropped on the roads and through the streets than at any other time. The driver does not have time to do his job properly as he has a quota.

Similar happens with all these new stigmas such as LGBT..., reconciliation, and the environmentalists. These people are…

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Many councils are banging on about the lack of available housing including rentals and thereby justifying some appalling planing decisions on the basis this will ease pressure and increase supply; however I ask why in so many areas we have some wonderful heritage shops/buildings that have been allowed to fall into complete disrepair with absolutely no attempt at all to force the owner to fix them up or to bring in a scheme under Heritage Victoria wherein developers completely transform these wonderful heritage buildings into much needed accommodation; instead of continuing to build poor quality, ugly inappropriate new builds in heritage areas such as Chapel Street precinct, Bridge Road Richmond, High Street Armadale, Carlton and the CBD Melbourne to name…

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Thanks for having the courage to call out expensive and useless distractions by councils. Time to focus on what they are employed to do - to be service providers

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You forgot dirty money washing. Planning decisions, planning scheme changes can be used as money layering and integration strategies, making the traceability of dirty money integration into legitimate land development ventures or assets more challenging for authorities to detect and prevent. UK councils are subject to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) reporting of suspicious activities because they are designated as “relevant persons” under the Money Laundering Regulations.  Australian councils - look at the Casey case, it reveals opportunities beyond local corruption to internationally funded money laundering activities. When local councils decide to sell public land, it’s a decision that can have far-reaching implications for the community. Council who sell public land are exposed to undeclared conflicts of interests between decision maker…

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