Monday, November 15, 2004

Propaganda flies in the Cross

Now the Kings Cross Arts Festival is over, I can document some of the amazing actions of the council in blocking and sabotaging the event they are largely paying for.

Smartpole banners are a good example. According to council spin the banners are to 'celebrate community events'. More cynical commentators see them as just another advertising medium -- see the inaugural red ones now flying which advertise council's 'Information Space' even though it is still a construction site!.

Looks like the cynics are right. The Arts festival is the biggest community event on the Kings Cross annual calendar, yet local Council bureaucrats refused permission to give the festival street presence on banners. Three councillors took up the request but were also fended off by council staff.

The excuse was the financial cost, but real intentions were betrayed by their refusal to allow even an ordinary school fete type banner across the main road.

Council couldn't bear to have the arts festival steal the thunder from their own programs -- like the belated opening of the library, and the Christmas party they are planning next month to unveil the new re-made Kings Cross. I and others also kept requesting that the Llankelly Place lights be switched back on in time for the festival. No reply. What's the bet they'll be on in time for council's event?

It's like dealing with a bunch of petulant teenagers from an American high-school movie circa 1955. 'It's my party and yours can go jump'. Only total sycophants get any help.

The festival was nevertheless a success, climaxing with the Arts Ball on Friday night which absolutely cooked thanks to Jeff Duff's Band, drag acts Monique and Miss 3d, and the excellent staff and management at Ladylux nightclub.

STOP PRESS: the council spin has started -- a press release just out begins:

'Kings Cross will have a spectacular burst of energy for the launch of the City of Sydney urban renewal program of Kings Cross on Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 December. 'The Strip' will shimmer as the precinct celebrates the makeover of this famous Sydney cultural icon.'

Fabulous, isn't it? When the Arts Festival didn't even get mentioned on Council's 'what's on' web page. Nevertheless, the council launch should be supported -- for the good of the Cross -- along with the 'other' arts festival slated for next March or so.


Anonymous said...

Do not be surprised . When did Cr Moore promote anything
but herself ?

Anonymous said...

Clover in fact has an excellent record of promoting the interests of her constituents. That's why she's so popular with the electorate. You Clover-haters need to come up with more credible stuff if you hope to influence others. Whatever her faults, she is way ahead of any of the alternatives.

The Editor said...

It was the Sartor-appointed staff who behaved so badly, not so much Clover.

The new signage policy for the Cross is a brilliant example of response to community interests, thanks to Clover -- who also wore some political flak from the bigots over it. The previous council would never have countenanced such a thing.

To blame Clover for the attitude of the bureaucracy is not quite honest -- the distinction must be made, I think.

Anonymous said...

"Whatever her faults, she is way
ahead of any of the alternatives"

I think Michael Lee would have been an outstanding Lord Mayor. He was regarded as a possible future Prime Minister. He is so far ahead of the rest in intellect and administrative experience that your comment about Cr Moore has no credibility. Cr Lee is highly regarded by both the residents and business ,something which Cr Moore lacks.

I agree with the first comment about Cr Moore .

The Editor said...

If Michael is so well respected by residents, how come the vote went so convincingly against him in a solid Labor area?

He does seem to be a likeable bloke, but he was imported into the area by the Party and his campaign consisted of standard platitudes written by a party so confident of victory they didn't really try. My guess is he would have simply been a rubber stamp for Bob Carr's ambitions, with the occasional act of social conscience where there was seen to be zero political risk for the party.

Michael's only real contribution seemed to be his plan for child care attached to schools, which while a worthy idea, is more a state issue than a council one.

Anonymous said...

Today's wentworth Courier has a nasty letter about the just finished Arts Festival. I hope that the KC times replies. The writer did not like the programme.

Anonymous said...

To quote our editor from another recent story ..."Daniel's bitter letter smells of factionalism -- a surefire downfall for local groups. We say again, let's support ALL the KX events and avoid the small-town trap of throwing stones when you live in a glass house." Doesn't sound like he is supporting all other local events in this comment. Sounds like sour grapes.

The Editor said...

Sour grapes about what? I was simply responding to a particulaly nasty criticism from some bloke in Darling Point. As I put a lot of time and effort into the Festival, gratis, I reckon that's fair enough. I still say, let's support all the events for the good of the Cross rather than descend into in-fighting. Call me idealistic if you like.