Wollongong Lord Mayor folds on Lake Illawarra funding


Residents in the Wollongong local government area should hold the Lord Mayor, Councillor Gordon Bradbery, responsible for the State Liberal Government’s cost-shifting burden on Lake Illawarra, including the possibility of a new Council levy to fund it, Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, said today.

Ms Watson was commenting after it appeared Councillor Bradbery told the Illawarra Mercury the Council had no choice but to absorb the cost associated with Lake Illawarra after the State Government abolished the Lake Illawarra Authority (LIA).

“I simply cannot believe that the Lord Mayor caved in and undercut Council’s ability to negotiate a better position for Wollongong local government area ratepayers from the State Liberal Government on the Lake’s future.

“I’d love to play poker against Gordon any day because he certainly knows how to fold his cards early. This shows that the Lord Mayor caves into the slightest bit of pressure from the NSW Liberals.

“It’s no wonder that the NSW Liberals don’t take him, or the Council he leads, seriously”, she said.

Ms Watson has again called on Wollongong Councillors to ignore the Lord Mayor’s white-flag waving and to stand firm by rejecting the State Government’s demand that the Council establish an estuary management committee at its meeting on Monday night.

“I’ve said consistently that both Wollongong and Shellharbour Councils should hold firm and reject any attempt to play to the Government’s tune.

“Both Councils should be rejecting any cost-shifting burden onto the shoulders of ratepayers and demand guaranteed funding and clear governance arrangements for Lake Illawarra by the State Government before doing anything else.

“At the moment, neither Council has any commitment of guaranteed funding from the State Government and there is confusion about which agency and bureaucracy will be responsible for which part of the Lake.

“Wollongong Council will regret the day it started dancing to the tune of the State Government on the future of Lake Illawarra and following the Lord Mayor’s weak leadership”, Ms Watson said.

10 October 2014