Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Trashing the neighbourhood

RailCorp are doing work on the old goods line through Lilyfield, turning it into a light rail extension. The area around one of their worksites has been thoroughly trashed by vandals, and it appears that they broke into the worksite over the weekend and pushed the site's portable toilets over. I wrote to RailCorp about the rubbish within and around the site last week - when I went past yesterday, the area was much cleaner, and I noticed three full bin liners at the gate waiting to be picked up. It's a pity that I had to ask RailCorp to clean up their own site - someone from management should have been visiting regularly, and if they were, they might have noticed the sea of McDonalds bags, drink bottles, coffee cups etc inside and outside the fence.

The walls under the railway bridge are a favourite spot for the illegal posting of posters. Last week, posters for the Greens went up. By yesterday, half of them had been torn down or fallen down - along with several other non-political posters. The rubbish from the posters was all over the footpath, and had started washing into the street.

It's a similar story at one of the overbridges along the City West Link.

I've left a comment on Jamie Parker's website, which ironically states "Help me improve Balmain, Leichhardt, Glebe and Haberfield":

Yes, I'd love you to improve the Lilyfield area. Recently, Greens posters have been illegally put up on RailCorp and RTA bridges. Most of these posters are now lying on the footpath or in the gutter as great wads of rubbish. How about going back and cleaning up after yourself, and stop using public assets for your advertising. Stop treating our environment as a rubbish tip.

The state election is this weekend. The most common form of political advertising is coreflutes nailed onto power poles. What I've noticed from recent elections is that by the weekend after the election, Labor and the Liberals will have taken most of them down. There's always the odd one that is missed, but they manage to get 95%+ very quickly. Sometimes, most of them come down on the Sunday after the election.

I'll be keeping an eye on the Greens coreflutes to see if they bother to take them down as rapidly and comprehensively. After the 2007 federal election, I had to write to them two months after the election to ask them to clean up their rubbish. They're good at putting it up, and hopeless at taking it down.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Slightly overheated car and boat

I spotted a burned out car in Lilyfield on the way home last night. When I circled around to have a closer look, I found this burned out boat as well.

The bloke in the photo was quite blasé about the wreck - his input was, "They burn them here all the time and then push them into the canal".

Where I spotted it from - it stood out pretty clearly from across the canal. Will be interested to know if anyone else bothered to report it - I emailed Leichhardt Council when I got home, and rang the Police Assistance Line.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

How Green is this - not.

One thing I've noticed after the last few elections is that the worst party by far at cleaning up their election material is the Greens. Their coreflutes hang around on power poles for months after the election is finished - at least Labor and the Liberals generally have theirs down within a few days. The Greens were so hopeless after the Kevin07 election, I wrote to them asking to remove their rubbish from our neighbourhoods - which they did. Goodness knows why they needed prompting. Probably memory loss from too many hits on the bong.

Someone at Greens HQ must have overindulging in the weed recently, because you'd have to be on drugs to think that illegally sticking up posters on public property is a good idea.

Especially when those posters have a bad habit of peeling off the wall and blowing around as rubbish.

We've just had Clean Up Australia Day - and straight after, the Greens do their best to trash public property and to litter the environment. What a pack of hypocrites.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Clean Up results

The Sunday just gone was Clean Up Australia Day. I put my name down to help at a site in a housing commission estate. This is what we found when we got there - I'm not sure if it was ever picked up - the site organiser didn't show up, so we went and helped out elsewhere. 

There wasn't much rubbish to pick up at the next site, but I did find a damaged park bench (which I've reported to Council). Here's what gets me about damage like this - Council staff or contractors visit this park every week or two to mow the lawns and empty the bins. You'd think that they'd report something obvious like damaged furniture - and in some cases, they do. But in too many, they don't. There are nearly 300 Council employees - more than enough to spot just about every maintenance issue and abandoned car in our city.

This is a systemic problem that is present in just about every government body these days. Employees only concern themselves with the items contained within their narrow function, and to hell with everything else. Leaders that have their act together look for and recognise these sorts of problems and act on them before they become big problems. If our leaders were doing what they are paid to do, I wouldn't be doing this. I don't expect the Mayor to be filling in pot holes and picking up litter and mowing the grass - but I do expect him to be ensuring that the Council is performing at maximum efficiency and effectiveness in delivering services to residents. When I see things like this, it makes me wonder if they've really got a grip on things.

Abandoned truck in Chiswick, spotted whilst walking between the two Clean Up sites.

Abandoned van, spotted whilst walking home. This is the 2nd time I've reported this one - the owner registered it last time, but hasn't moved it since, and the rego lapsed back in Jan.

This empty space is the sign of success - it used to contain two Jags that had been rusting on trailers for a decade. Council removed them last month.

This wall made it into the Daily Telegraph last week. The RTA came along and painted it on Thursday the 3rd of March. This is how it looked at 1640hrs on the same Thursday.

This is how it looked 5 minutes later after 3 kids on scooters, no older than 12, had been and gone. They might have been as young as 8. They're so illiterate, they couldn't even spell "Police" - but sadly, they knew how to spell "fuck". I've reported them to the "Poice".

And this was how the wall looked on Monday the 7th. Sadly, it looks like all this was sprayed on during Clean Up Australia Day. Oh, the irony.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Strathfield vs Canada Bay

I was asked last week to write an opinion piece for the Strathfield Scene on graffiti. Before submitting it, I asked a few friends to eyeball it and provide feedback. One said, "Gee, you're pretty harsh on the Strathfield mayor, and you must really like the Canada Bay mayor".

Actually, no.

If the mayor of Canada Bay was doing his job properly, this blog wouldn't exist. I'd have nothing to do. The fact that I have spent the last three years running around trying to clean up the neighbourhood is a savage indictment on his administration.

The photo below shows his campaign office from his 2003 election bid. It's on Great North Road in Five Dock. It was vacant for a long time, and was also covered in graffiti for a long time. I finally contacted the mayor just before Christmas in 2008 and asked him to call the owner and get it removed (this was before Council changed their policy regarding graffiti removal). If he really cared about cleaning things up, surely he would have noticed that the building with his name plastered all over it was vandalised and an eyesore?

As for the Strathfield vs Canada Bay comparisons, we got lucky when the state government provided grants a few years ago to buy graffiti cleaning trucks. Strathfield didn't. What annoys me is that a very effect graffiti removal program was shutdown after just one year - if the state government was serious about graffiti removal, it would have provided grants to councils every year, and Strathfield would have its own truck by now - and the Strathfield area would be much cleaner.

I regularly say good things about Canada Bay council - but when I do so, I am endorsing the work of the front line staff that go out every day and clean things up.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Going, going, gone

That pile of rubbish that I reported yesterday - as of this morning, it's gone. It took Leichhardt Council staff less than 24 hours to get rid of it. Thumbs up to the staff that had to clean up after the low lifes that dumped it.

Funnily enough, I got an email at 7.15am this morning to say that a job had been registered to pick it up - that was after it had already been cleaned up.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What a load of rubbish

I spotted this pile of illegally dumped rubbish on the way to work - it wasn't there yesterday morning. I've just emailed Leichhardt Council to let them know about it. I hope Council sort through it and find something that provides a clue as to who did it.

To think that it's Clean Up Australia Day this Sunday, and people are doing stuff like this.

This load was dumped right outside one of our rowing clubs, and there were dozens and dozens of rowers using this car park this morning. I wonder if any one of them has bothered to report this as well? Or is it just somebody else's problem?