Thursday, September 18, 2008

All over - red rover...

Me with Justin Hardman and Dee Carvill of Dublin, soon to be my daughter-in-law.

Greetings all.

It is all over. Ms Waller has been elected with 36% of the votes cast - or 39% of the formal votes.

Today's counting saw me draw 2645 of Sim's 11432 votes even though he did not publish preferences. But the killer to the Independents' campaign was the 7799 votes exhausted vote due to no preferences flowing after Sim's No 1.

So I offer my best wishes to Wendy. I hope she breaks from the machine mode of politics and connects to her community beyond her welfare industry subset. She needs to make her own stamp of it and break out of the Paul Lynch school of machine politics that is self serving whilst Liverpool is run into the ground through lack of civic leadership.

Thanks to all of my workers on polling day - you did a great job.

And thanks to my merry band of leaflet droppers (the great semi-retired : greyed haired blokes) - ya done good. Wherever we dropped our brochure we saw a higher vote.

Click for Final Counts. Click Mayoral Results / Preferential Counts tab / then Final Count Report.

I am taking time out now.

I will start this blog up again later in the year.

It is now time to reflect on matters. What has been confirmed to me is what we have is not good enough. Our Local and State governments are suffering seriously from a great lack of intellectual nourishment and moral force. Such happens when capable people consider it beneath their station to engage or just too hard to engage. The paradox is that this leaves a void that is filled by the narks, nongs and careerist opportunists who make it even more unpleasant to engage. I will give thought to providing a solution to the "too hard to engage" aspect of the disengagement of clever people of good will.

I am looking forward to the surf lifesaving season due to open in 2 weeks. Some quiet time at Garie Beach will refill the energy tanks. Have a look.

Cheers and over and out - for the time being.


Click on the Older Posts link at the bottom of the displayed posts to access the full list of post associated with this campaign

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Update - Wednesday after the election - 17/9/08

Gday all

I am still alive and running in the count. Last man standing of the Independents.

At close of counting Sim has 14.37% of the votes.

I have 15.72% which sees Sim excluded.

The Liberals have 21.71% and Labor have 36.67%.

So we have a Non Labor vote of 51.8% and an exhausted votes ( no preferences to count) of around 12%.

As known, Sim withdrew from a firm agreement based on a unified goal of allowing the people of Liverpool to give Labor an electoral belting. The agreement was that Byrne, Sim and Lucas, all Independents based in East Liverpool, to exchange preferences for one of us to stay in the race. We all agreed it was our individual tasks to win No 1 preferences to beat the others, but then to let our preferences work to attain the goal that one of us take the Mayoralty.

It was smart political planning.

Sim's breaking of the agreement - he did not preference at all- is likely to see Wendy Waller elected as Mayor with a miserable 36-38% of the final vote due to vote exhaustion. (If people Vote 1 only, when their selected Candidate loses then their vote exhausts with no preferences)

Sim's 11432 votes are to be preferenced tomorrow. My only hope is that his electors are smarter than he and ignore his HowToVote to support me as another Independent or vote Liberal which is his natural grouping. ( apparently he is an ex Lib). I feel sorry for Sim's workers who toiled all day at the booths to likely have an unworthy Labor Mayor elected as a result of their efforts.

I am off to the Moorebank Pub tonight to play Trivia. It was here last Wednesday before I arrived that one of our trivia team ( a lady far removed from the hustle and bustle of politics) took my little A6 sized brochure around to people in the pub. Sim regards this as his "Head Quarters" and that my friend intruded into his domain with some 60 people present.

Now stop laughing!!!!

And this was the excuse for his breaking of the agreement to see the peoples' will expressed with real political effect - Labor losing their mayoralty in their heartland.

Sim's wilful, petulant act is now likely to have caused the peoples' will to be again broken - a sad day for democracy.

However, who knows? Those little rivulets of the peoples' will still run. ( see previous post)

Counting begins at 8am tomorrow - Thursday 18th September.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Update - Tuesday after election ( 16/9)

The Preference count due to be done today has been postponed until tomorrow, Wednesday 17th September from 9am

Is there a chance? Whilst the Telegraph ran a story of Wendy Waller (Labor) claiming victory I understand they have withdrawn from that until the preference count is completed.

And so they should.

Labor's confidence is based on either experienced evaluation of a well scrutineered primary result where preference trends were observed, or, an assumption of preferences leaking based on past experience, especially with the Sim miserable failure to hold to the preference agreement amongst the Independent candidates. However the high Independent count could see a change in behaviour.

There are 48000 of 74000 votes which preferences are yet to be countered.

42% of the votes went to the Independents, and the high danger is that people did not extend their preferences and thereby causing votes to be exhausted. Of course Sim's actions keeps over 10% out of the Independent count.

I am relying upon gaining enough leakage of Nunez and Jacotine preferences directly to me to beat Lucas and Sim. As well, for a minimal amount of leakage to Waller. I have been told that her scrutineers observed a fair amount of Jacotine voters' Number 2 going to Waller. If so it is all over.

The peoples' will runs in small rivulets to form the great river of democratic government. My campaign may still be floating in those hidden rivulets locked up in the Liverpool Returning Office.



Sunday, September 14, 2008

Results as at close of counting - Saturday 13th

Hello all

Following is my analysis of things as they stand at close of counting on Saturday night.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Election Day - what a journey

It's pre-dawn and I am ready to hit the early road with last minute deliveries to my poll workers. They come from family, friends and new found supporters of my campaign.

What a journey. And in a way it has been a 21 year journey, a journey without maps. In 1986 I led the campaign for the citizens of Liverpool to elect their own Mayor. Since 1980 the East Ward Progress Association ( remember the name "East" ward for a little tale at the end of this post) Councillor Don Syme several times had the balance of power vote on Council to elect the Mayor from amongst the Councillors. Our observation over the years was that for months leading up to the annual Mayoral election deals were being struck causing all sorts of aberrations when it came to voting on normal Council policy and resource allocation. After the election there was retribution effecting policy where deals were betrayed.

In December 1985 the late Kath Syme moved at the December EWPA meeting for us to utilise the provision ( Section 25A) under the Local Government Act to prompt a petition from the citizens of Liverpool requesting that we elect our Mayor directly. I was made Campaign Manager. We proceeded to target the 8000 signatures required and through it we forced Council into action in the face of the coming 1987 election. There was a lot of counter-play by the Councillors. The Labor Party under Craig Knowles worked against the proposition, as did the Liberals and old school Councillors. A young Mark Latham stirred up the dust by coming out in full support of it and he turned around the Labor policy position.

In the end Council was forced through public pressure to resolve to hold a Constitutional Referendum at the 1987 election on the matter. Over 70% of electors voted in favour of the proposition and from 1991 it became a reality.

Mark Latham was Liverpool's first Mayor elected by the people. Upon Mark's election to Federal Parliament he later stood down and the egregious George Paciullo was elected in 1995 and 1999 to see him lead Liverpool City Council into the $30 million Oasis blackhole.

So now I find myself standing for election as Mayor in 2008. I happily stood back from civic affairs when Mark Latham was Mayor but was gradually drawn back in as the Oasis debacle began its journey to oblivion.

An interesting point from all this. There are only 31 of NSW's 152 Councils that have a popularly elected Mayor. In 1993 the Local Government Act was completely revamped. The provision we used in 1985/6 ( Section 25A) was removed from the Act. The only way I understand for a Council to change its method of Mayoral election is for the existing Councillors to resolve to hold a Constitutional Poll on the matter. And of course they will not do it as they prefer their annual circus of king making. The NSW Parliament is full of local government hacks who act firstly in the interest of their chums coming through the Local Government system.

If elected I will be an advocate for Local Government reform and will target the goal of having all NSW Mayors elected by the people in 2012.

Well, the sun is now up and I am on the road.

What will the will of the people deliver today?

Final Note:

The East Ward of Liverpool was wiped off the electoral in a vindictive act led by Hon Paul Lynch MP when he was a Liverpool Councillor in 1995. An opportunity arose through an abnormality associated with the new 1993 Local Government Act and popularly elected Mayors. Lynch saw the opportunity and led his Caucus to break up the newly established policy of 4 wards across Liverpool into 2 Wards ( North and South) which purposely divided in two the long standing place of political agitation, Liverpool's East Ward.

Mr Lynch's sacking this week from the Local Government Ministry position has something to do with this. We had already begun, since November 2007, a campaign to re-establish our more representative Wards (North, South, East and West). Mr Lynch's past behaviour would be still an embarrassment to the much troubled NSW Labor Government.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How to Vote - Lets Do It Liverpool

This document above took over 15 hours of telephone and face to face time to come to fruition.

It informs electors how to vote to show how sorry we are with the Labor Party losing our 30 million "Oasis" dollars and their arrogance in placing before us one of the main people involved in the Oasis decisions - their nominee for Mayor Wendy Waller.
(Ms Waller at a public forum on August 20th emphatically said
" I will not apologise to the people of Liverpool")

For the Liverpool "sorry vote" to be effective we had to ensure all Independents ( Byrne, Sim, Lucas, Jacotine and Nunez) exchanged preferences amongst themselves. This was achieved hours before the closing time for How to Vote Registrations with the delay due to some inexperience of people involved.

Preference flow stops at the Liberals to ensure Labor do not scrape in through exhausted votes.

The key thing for all electors is to continue their preferences as shown. If your vote exhausts by not going down to the 5th preferences as shown, it helps Labor. They have a large tribal vote
(Labor right or wrong) and could sit there with enough No 1's to beat off contenders who do not advance due to exhausted votes.

Vote 1 - Michael Byrne then down to at least 5 as shown.

Thanks to all.

Two days to go

Thursday 11th September.

It really has been a settled campaign. Everything is set in place with the Independents agreeing to exchange preferences before the major Parties. There has been no nastiness. I think the Labor party are too embarrassed to get up to any no good. Besides, their comrades in Macquarie Street are making up for it.

I have had great support from my team of people ( Mike Frew, Leonie Goodwin, Bernie Loughlin, Ann Quigley, Dominic Wright and Allison, Albert Barnat, Gary Bain, Terry Hammond, Greg Haskew, Paul Napier, Brian McConachie, Peter & Pat Wiles, Joe & Cynthia Wiles, Owen & Grace Jeffress, Chris McCroary and my old mate from the Valley, Casey Conway) dropping leaflets across the whole of East Liverpool, Casula East, Prestons, and up in the Valley.

Now for polling day. I am short on polling booth workers across the 40 sites but we are confident our word is out there and my position on the top of the Mayoral Ballot paper sits well for those many people keen to send a message to the Labor Party.

One more day tomorrow for some late leaflet drops with my team of helpers.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Greetings from Michael Byrne

**** STOP PRESS *****

We are into the final week of the election campaign. Be sure to tune each day for updated policy and diary.

Help wanted: If you are impressed with my effort why not add to it for Liverpool's sake and help me out on polling day. A few hours at your local polling booth is an interesting experience.

Contact me via and I will get back to you. If you know where and when you can help please add it to the email - thanks..


Hello, my name is Michael Byrne.

I have been a citizen of Liverpool for 30 years.

I am seeking election as the Mayor of Liverpool on September 13th 2008. This and subsequent posts will provide me the opportunity to tell stories, provide opinion, develop policy with you and overall give you an idea of who I am.

So instead of being just a name on a ballot paper to choose from, I hope you will seek my name as that of a trusted associate to represent you as Mayor in our local city, Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia.

I offer leadership through knowledge, commitment and service.

To view my backgrounder which provides an overview of my time in Liverpool being engaged in its civic affairs, and older posts, go to the bottom of the screen (use side slide) and click on the "Older Posts" link.

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Failure of the Professionals

The Council Election this Saturday will see a new Council elected after being under Administration for four years.

As Mayor I will seek Council to revitalise its Administration and external advisers.

Our City has had ten years of top level administrative incompetence in the form of General Manager Carr, followed by four years of "fat cat" bureaucracy in the form of the Council Administrator Kibble. And of course fat cat bureaucracy breeds fat-cattery with Council's Administration requiring revitalisation to be in line with the new and strong political leadership I am offering.

There are professional firms such as Price Waterhouse Coopers from the Oasis era still engaged with Council as high fee advisers. I will seek Council to agree to terminate their services.

It is my view that the Oasis debacle was a complete failure of the professionals to see the Public Interest as a value of itself rather than an extension of the elected body that pay their accounts. On all major budget matters there is a point on which the public interest beacon stands and at which professionals must say "We will no longer engage with Council on this matter".

Price Waterhouse Coopers, Macquarie Bank, Ernst and Young, Abbott Tout, the Labor Party, retired and comfortable Premier Bob Carr, retired and comfortable Hon Craig Knowles, Hon Paul Lynch - they all failed us here in Liverpool.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Costly Eco Nuttery - M5 East Tunnels

I regard myself as a lover of nature. I enjoy the outdoors. The rugged charm of the Australian Bush. Camping by a stream around a camp fire in a valley full of eucalyptus and devoid of human markings. That is my idea of being close to nature. It is also assisting a harmless spider found inside my house to a new home out in the garden.

I have a front yard with 4 gum trees planted by Liz and me over 25 years ago. I turned the remnant lawn into a bush garden to address the dryness of the drought and the strain of the trees. I am now blessed with spring bush flowers and daily visits by colourful lorikeets and parrots.

So I do appreciate wild beauty. I appreciate the bush.

What I do not appreciate is eco-nuttery. This is where NotInMyBackYard ( NIMBY) activists pick up an issue and define the whole matter of public interest as an ecological battle being fought by eco lovers against the evil forces of road makers and users. And the politicians cave in to them.

The M5 East Roadway was originally planned to route through the Wolli Creek Valley. This contains a road corridor reserved for decades. The valley has a creek running through it, and a lot of second rate bushland. It already has a major rail route established adjacent to the creek and bush. The local activists took up the challenge to protect their amenity and ran a successful campaign over many years.

The consequence of this activism was a lengthy delay in the provision of the M5 east to south western Sydney ( Liverpool) drivers and a massive hike in costs ( $800 Million) due the construction of a dual road system underground for 4 kilometres. Whilst second rate bush was saved from having an open, wide and fast roadway within sight of activists backyards, drivers have to daily pass through exhaust emission smog filled, narrow, tunnels ensuring their car air systems are turned to internal air circulation to avoid being gassed. Drivers have been forced to a dirty underground where as they could have been travelling atop a viaduct roadway in the open air with pleasant views to their work or home.

This is eco-nuttery. Especially as the same people who forced the roadway underground are now forcing the Government into other extraordinary expenditure to clean the air in the tunnel without exhausting it near their backyards. The Government is expending $50 million on a trial 18 month filtration system to clean the air in the tunnels.

There is currently a review of the duplication of te M5 East roadway to accommodate the growing demand for container truck trips to and from Port Botany.

As Mayor of Liverpool I will advocate the use of the Wolli Creek corridor for a new viaduct for car traffic and have the trucks use the existing dirty tunnel.

There will be no more silence from Liverpool to advance a political party's self interest.

And no more NIMBY eco-nuttery dressed up as genuine ecological causes.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Badgery's Creek Airport

Liverpool is a City bursting with need and opportunity.

The needs have been neglected across decades to the detriment of the City.

Its opportunities have been wasted through a prevailing small town cargo cult mentality ( good things will just turn up) or simply sacrificed on the altar of political ambition of local State Members.

One such opportunity is the Badgerys Creek Airport. A decision to proceed with this massive development will deliver thousands of jobs to Liverpool citizens at the development stage and importantly for the ongoing operational and multiplier service industries.

The CBD of Liverpool is equidistant from the existing Sydney Airport and the proposed Badgerys Creek airport. There is no noise issue for the established and planned Liverpool residential areas. Indeed the plans for the alignment of the proposed runways at Badgerys Creek have been around since 1985. They show a South / North direction that is parallel to Liverpool's developed areas. And since 1985 aircraft manufacture has advanced with materials, engine performance and noise emission being greatly improved.

Badgerys Creek Airport would generate high need for transport infrastructure to link both airports. Our existing major tollway roads pass through and interlink in Liverpool.

I want to see our young people taking residence in Liverpool to raise their families commuting to work to the wide open spaces to our west and not the parking lot traffic chaos to our east and north.

The shelving of Badgerys Creek Airport's development was a result of self serving Councils and State MPs who ran a scare campaign to boost their political advantage. Liverpool's representatives, Paciullo, Knowles and Lynch, and its compliant Council all laid low when the Party's interest, defined by those from other Western Sydney Labor areas, call for them to be quiet. Shame. They failed us.

As a City Leader Mayor, I am willing to take up Badgerys Creek Airport and advocate it as a real advantage to Liverpool and all areas surrounding it.

No more fear and scare politics in the name of self serving politics.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Liverpool's Poor Political Representation

As Mayor I will remain a tireless advocate for any issue that I judge to be in the interest of Liverpool citizens and that rests outside of the Council budget domain. In particular, I will ginger up our lack lustre State Members that fail to take up our interests. Holsworthy Railway / Warwick Farm, Liverpool Station Car Parks are a disgrace and fall to far short of the public needs in our area.

Liverpool has been poorly served by its Labor career State politicians. Their various antics saw poor quality, and less threatening, Labor councillors to the fore that saw the loss of over $30 million of ratepayer funds in the Oasis folly.

Over the decades since the 60's George Paciullo, Craig Knowles and Paul Lynch expressed their creative abilities in bulking up their numbers at the Party branch level to attain / retain numbers for pre-selection. This ensured a secure safe seat that guaranteed re-election no matter how you performed in the interest of the electorate. In the case of Liverpool, it is an electorate delivering up to 70% of primaries in places.

The Hon. George Paciullo was simply a narcissistic dabbler at the job, notwithstanding his claim to fame in fronting the Random Breath Test introduction in the 80's. He was to later cause the waste of over $30 million of ratepayer funds on his Oasis "dream" turned nightmare leading to the dismissal of him as Mayor and his Council in 2004. He brought great financial loss and shame on Liverpool.

The Hon Craig Knowles sacrificed many of Liverpool / Macquarie Fields public interests to the altar of personal ambition towards the Premiership. What should have been fought for was ignored and buried in the name of the Party's interest that was directly linked to his interest and ambition. He crashed and burned at the base of the Premier's pedestal. He left Parliament at a whim taking a fat pension and causing a costly by-election.

The Hon. Paul Lynch MP, the current Member for Liverpool and Minister for Local Government, has simply worked Liverpool as his own political fiefdom for whatever global or ideological cause he attached himself to. He has failed the people of Liverpool over the years and he relies on the low expectations they have of their politicians. Mr Lynch will be the subject of my promised Ginger Up activity.

A little later I will expand on the real benefits and opportunities lost to Liverpool in the playing out of these peoples' ambitions.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Policy : Graffiti - Car Hoons - Dirty Streets

The most common annoyance to us all is graffiti and car hoon behaviour. They both really irritate, like a mossie in the room at night. Unlike a can of fly spray or a good swat to kill a mossie, graffiti and road hoons are more difficult to stop.

Mayoral candidates who claim to have the solution will soon be wealthy men because this is a global problem experienced in all towns and cities in the western world who are looking for answers.

In the short term we need a sizeable budget item allocated to chase our tail with these people. Over what other council activity this takes priority is to be determined by the new Council.

In the longer term we begin in the kindergarten and with adult education. I understand graffiti artists and car hoons to be the modern vandals - they are individuals detached from social values of respect for the other - a value generally eroded through the 1960's social revolutions. They see public roads, public and private property as a personal possession for them to express themselves in ego-centric behaviour that annoys the hell out of the rest of us.

We need civic leadership to promote our traditional social values - respect for the other - love of neighbour - without having to necessarily like them. That is a bonus of life.

As far as dirty streets go, it is the result of a Council not doing its job.

To fix, you change the people running it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Media : I pop up on Channel 10 news

Last Tuesday ( Aug 26th) I received a call from Frank Colletta of Channel 10 News. Frank was once a reporter at the Liverpool Champion local paper in the 90's. He said Channel 10 were doing a piece on Thursday about Wendy Waller standing for election after being sacked as a Councillor due to Oasis.

I popped into the Mall this morning and gave a grab for the item. It went well.

Do have a look - it is about 40 seconds into the video.

How attentive are you? What was the error in Ned's grab? Leave your answer in Comments..

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Diary : My first pamphlet - here we go....

I received my first printed pamphlet ready for distribution. Now it is on with the show and time to marshal my supporters for distribution across Liverpool.

I have taken a different approach with this pamphlet. I am hoping people are ready for a different approach as they are fed up with the old machine type politics that treats us electors as idiots.

I am offering open leadership with that openess flowing through all channels of influence of that leadership. Strong leadership that is caring in striving to have people raise their expectations and assertive in bringing better government and services for our neglected City.

Backpack, water, apple and mandarin - I am off for my first drop.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Diary - Candidates Forum

Tonight local citizens, Ian Bailey and Michael Ross, organised a Candidates Forum where Council candidates gave a five minute address and took questions from the audience. It went well and congratulations to Ian and Michael.

I was first name out of the hat and got the night going. I received a good response even though my address was interrupted early through a faulty microphone and then being cut off before the end of my address. I expected the bell to be a one minute warning. Instead it was rung to end the address. It shows you the need to check and confirm all things and assume nothing, even long held conventions.

An extraordinary error was made by Wendy Waller. She is obviously self deluded concerning her role as the then Chairman of the Finance Committee throughout the Oasis debacle overseeing the loss of$30 million. She explained it away. When asked by myself in the Q&A as to when she would apologise to the people of Liverpool she responded with an emphatic
"I will not apologise".

I expect this to be a prominent news item in the local papers who had journalists in attendance.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Look who I met today?

Click to enlarge the photo. Jennifer Hawkins with myself and Natalie Burgett. Photo by Rob Storum of

I am the President of Garie Surf Life Saving Club (click to have a look at...) in the Royal National Park only 42 kilometres from Liverpool. Our club hosted a recent episode of Channel 7's Make me a Super Model which is hosted by Jennifer Hawkins our Aussie beauty and former Miss Universe.

It really was a beauty meets beauty occasion, having Jennifer at our beach and clubhouse. She is a wonderful person and so down to earth. She is a real role model for the young aspirants to fame and fortune. Jennifer has been to the top yet is firmly grounded and able to relate to ordinary people.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Diary : Nomination day

Its Nomination day - August 13th 2008. At high noon nominations close for the September 13th local council elections across New South Wales.
The City of Liverpool has been under Administration due the last Council being sacked due the Oasis debacle ( ratepayer funds of $30 million lost). This is the first election since 1999.

Well I've done it! Please excuse the writing..

I have nominated to stand as Mayor of Liverpool.

Why 1? Since being engaged with Liverpool local affairs from 1980 I was mystified why the people in 1977 re-elected Councillors who caused the Council to be sacked in 1976. It revealed to me a small town mentality that people did not respond to such shame of their City Council being sacked. And now in 2008 we have a similar situation with the Labor Party nominating for Mayor a sacked Councillor who was Chairman of the Finance Committee that oversaw the loss of our $30 million in 2004.

Why 2? I do have a lot to offer with a broad record and experience of civic involvement, business experience and a solid basis for servant leadership in my faith. The politics of the future must be focussed on persuasion using fact and argument leaving behind the machine model of control and manipulation devoid of a moral code.

Why 3? I am 58 years old. My family are now adults and I have the experience of having raised a family, run a business and the wisdom all this delivers. So direct political engagement is very much about time, place and circumstance. September 2008, Liverpool and life bring me here.

News Flash!

At 2.30pm today I attended the draw for positions on the Ballot Paper. I drew number 1 .. a good omen.

I am now in the race.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

From Aristotle to Liverpool 2008

It was Aristotle, over 2300 years ago, who described we humans as being political animals. It was not meant as a put down as in today's language; rather a categorisation. Aristotle saw the exercise of politics as a civic duty and that citizens should at once be willing to be ruled,and, be willing to rule. The former should prepare the citizen for the latter. Politics was to be an exercise of virtue, with persuasion as the key mode of operation.

To bring this to a current 2008 practical reality, I am, as a citizen, putting myself forward for election as Mayor of Liverpool in September 2008 - Byrne for Mayor.

I am ready and most willing, with full acknowledgement of the task ahead.

I am to face ferocious opposition from people who seek to control politics in Liverpool as cogs and wheels in the political party machinery. People who oversaw the 1999- 2004 Oasis development debacle where we as citizens saw $20 million of public funds wasted negligently to produce only a concrete slab. People who brought shame again to Liverpool with our Council being sacked a second time in 30 years. These are the perverse "political animals" of the modern machine politics era. Where personal careers and Party interest are served first and foremost, and the public interest placed a poor last.

It is a political reality that the Labor Party is the "natural" party in Liverpool. The Labor MP for Liverpool, Paul Lynch MP, commands a 70% primary vote at the State Elections. He has drawn a public purse salary and allowances of some $1.25 million across a decade whilst representing Liverpool. How well are we doing? Enough said.

The last two Liverpool City Councils had Labor majorities that saw Council hand over $15 million to a bunch of football boofheads and a spivvy hanger-on for them to expend, including self payment of generous $400K salaries, without effective oversight. This is still shameful. Whilst Council was sacked there was no action taken by the Labor Party State Government to seek financial re-compensation from the persons most responsible, being the Mayor ( Paciullo) , the General Manager (Carr) and the Chairman of the Finance Committee (Waller). Political Party interests are themselves first, second and third, with the public interest last.

Concerning this Campaign, I cannot do it alone. I have no personal wealth to draw on. I will seek funding and support from the same people I am asking to vote for me to be the voice for them as leader of the Council. More on this soon.

In closing this first blog contribution, I bring to the people of Liverpool that most fundamental democratic property from way back in the days of Aristotle- choice. A choice with substance and over 28 years of active engagement in the civic and social development within Liverpool.

I will be publishing soon a summary of my civic activity across those 28 years.

Note: Outside of Council I was the main public voice against the Oasis operation. I experienced the cold shoulder from Councillors, Officers and some local business people who closed their eyes to what was going on. I am happy to answer any questions you may have concerning this long, costly and sad saga. I will be relating some of the more interesting snippets over time via this Blog.

My best wishes to you all.

Michael Byrne

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Civic Background


Here is an opportunity to get to know my background to assist you in your decision come election day - Saturday September 13th.

After observing and engaging with politicians for many years certain attributes stand out for those who make a difference. They have a purpose from which flows policy which delivers programmes for the public good. I believe my recorded civic services hereunder displays a person with such purpose to form good policy and consequential public benefit programmes.

Liverpool over the years had some fine politicians who placed people before Party.

In East Liverpool we had Don Syme and Ron Hollands representing us on Liverpool City Council with a real sense of purpose beyond self-serving. Casey Conway from the Valley was a genuine politician who served with real purpose and was capable of acting in the interest of Liverpool citizens before his Labor Party's interest.

I am well recorded as being a supporter of Mark Latham. He was a conviction politician who played the game hard ( too hard for some) but he got done what he saw to be in the public interest. Mark won the first Popularly Elected Mayor vote held in 1991 after I had led the East Ward Progress Association campaign from 1986 for the people to have the right to vote directly for their Mayor rather than it being an annual "circus" involving all Councillors.

Now have a quick browse of my history with a few additional comments along the way.

And do use the Comments or email links if you wish to place a comment.

2007&2008 - President of East Liverpool Progress Association

2007&2008 - President of Garie Surf Life Saving Club (located in the Royal National Park)

  • In 2002 I decided to attain the Surf Life Saving Bronze Medallion at Garie Beach in the Royal National Park. It was something I always wanted to do. It gave me a purpose to get fitter ( do you know that with a desire and by making right choices and commitment you can regain the fitness of youth? I am not there but I am much fitter and well.). It was also a good excuse to go the beach more regularly. In 2007 the stalwart President of Garie Surf Life Saving Club, the late Alf Taylor, took gravely ill and I was asked by Alf to take on the Presidency. Another source of a 1000 stories.
2005-2007 Secretary of East Liverpool Progress Association

2002-2004 President of East Liverpool Progress Association

2003 March Ran as a Candidate ( budget $750 - about 830 votes) for the seat of Menai

  • This was done with the sole purpose of raising attention to the Oasis debacle in which Liverpool Council was still proceeding, after the exposure of the Council mishandling ratepayer funds to the tune of $20 million.Much damage was done to ratepayer interests in this delayed time before the Inquiry was initiated later in 2003.
  • Over this time Liverpool City Council, with 2008 Mayoral Candidate Wendy Waller as Finance Committee Chairman, made a desperate act. They signed over development rights of its valuable CBD assets solely to Macquarie Bank whose actions were described as "opportunistic" and "predatory"( Public Inquiry findings). This latter event happened with full knowledge of the Premier's Department.
    In 2007 the Administrator approved payment of fees and a payout of over $1 million to extract Liverpool citizens from this arrangement. This is after Liverpool City Council, with Wendy Waller as Finance Committee Chairman, paid the Bulldogs Football Club over $660,000 to terminate the Oasis agreement. They were the people who spent our money on huge salaries and fees for themselves and sly payments to Bulldog players.

    And we as ratepayers are left with a $22 million hole in our budget with a concrete slab to show for it.
2002 November.
  • First letter to Premier Carr seeking Government to suspend Liverpool City Council to protect the interests of the ratepayers from the actions of a desperate Council. The Government did not act until after the State Election in March 2003. See above.

2000-2004 Policy Spokesman for East Liverpool Progress Association, with particular
focus on the Oasis project.

  • As Liverpool City Council resorted to unpublicised, secret, closed meetings to manage the key decisions on Oasis, Michael participated in any forum he could to seek to publicise the shortcomings and associated risks of the Oasis project.
  • Michael was ejected ( escorted to the door) by Council from its December 12th 2001 meeting after he politely sought to speak to a Budget Review Submission before Council concerning the transfer of $15 million to the Oasis project. Within 12 months Oasis was in ruins with the $15 million of funds placed, without adequate oversight, into an entity controlled by Canterbury Bulldog officials. Liverpool ratepayers got themselves a concrete slab.
  • Michael provided an extensive submission to the Public Inquiry that led to the sacking of the Council over their handling of Oasis.

1994-99 Founding President of the Liverpool Boating Association Inc.:

  • Michael brought together Liverpool City Council (Boat Shed), Patrician Bros. Boys High Liverpool (8 pacer Sailing Dinghies) and Members of the public with sailing experience.

  • This established sailing as a sport in Liverpool on the Chipping Norton Lakes. The sailing club participates in local, metropolitan and state sailing regattas.

1994-97 Board Member of the Whitlam Leisure Centre managed by Leisure Australia. (Liverpool Community and Recreation Association)

  • It was in this capacity Michael attained the first glimpse of Oasis like behaviour by Liverpool City Council under Mayor George Paciullo. A submission to the ICAC on non-disclosure of personal interest by the then General Manager and Council's failure to act on it in 1999 was rejected as not requiring investigation. If only they had done their job.

1994 Candidate in by-election for Mayor & East Ward Councillor -

  • A testing the waters exercise under the preferential voting method as opposed to the independent friendly proportional method which would have seen him elected with excess quota. The hard hitting election pamphlet drew a a good voter response ( 28%) , and drew severe resentment from the Labor Party in Liverpool.

  • As a consequence of this the following year Liverpool City Council under the sponsorship of Clr Paul Lynch - the current Local Government Minister (2008) - expunged East Ward from Liverpool's electoral map.

1993-1995 Member of Liverpool's Economic Development Unit (EDU)

1992-1993 Member of the Judging panel for the Liverpool EDU's
Business Awards: Heritage Restoration/Conservation Award.

1991-1994 Mayor Mark Latham's appointee on various Liverpool Council advisory Committees .

1988-1991 President of East Ward Progress Association - Liverpool.

Provided support to Mark Latham in attaining ALP endorsement for the first popularly elected Mayor

1986-1987 Campaign Director for the Right to Elect Our Mayor Campaign.

  • This hard fought battle won the right for Liverpool electors to elect their Mayor. An interesting story.

1985-1988 President of the Moorebank Community Association Inc

1984-1988 Foundation Committee Member of the Moorebank Community
Association - Community engagement programmes - art, youth theatre, festivals.

1983-1987 Secretary of the East Ward Progress Association

1982-1984 Foundation Board Member of local community radio 2-GLF.

1980-present Member of the East Ward Progress Association.

1977 Moved into new home in Chipping Norton - now a Liverpool citizen


Other facts:

Born Anzac Day 1950 - Burwood...

Grew up in Blakehurst : Played as a child on the river banks of the Georges River amongst the sandstone caves and cliffs far downstream from Liverpool.

Schooled at Marist Brothers Kogarah : HSC 1967

Rugby League : Played Presidents Cup with St George in 1970 & 71... played Grade with Souths in 1972-73 ( 3 First Grade games - 1st Grade Player Number 575).

Moved to Liverpool ( Chipping Norton) in 1977 - our boys played on the bushy riverbanks of the Georges River far upstream from Blakehurst.