Statements by Senators – Melbourne City Council, Monday 26 February 2024

Senator BABET (Victoria—United Australia Party Whip) (13:49): One of my councils in Melbourne—the Melbourne City Council—took time away from their usual responsibilities last week to debate a ceasefire in Gaza. I recognise that peace in the Middle East is a very important issue, but let’s be honest—neither Hamas nor the Israeli government is awaiting instruction from the Melbourne City Council. It is just another example of many of local government members with delusions of grandeur. That’s what they have—delusions.

Earlier this month a survey found that 80 per cent of ratepayers were—get this—dissatisfied with the performance of their local council. The overwhelming majority wanted their counsellors to focus on—guess what?—filling potholes, emptying the bins and keeping the parks tidy. Geopolitics and issues like climate change, Indigenous reconciliation, ‘LGBTQI minus-sign, divided-by sign, exclamation mark’ rights were at the very bottom of the list of ratepayer priorities. A big problem in our country is that too many local councils are controlled by—guess who?—activists. They run for local government not to serve the community but to leverage their position and agitate for their woke ideologies. This results in one thing: local councils that refuse to divide the landfill from the recyclables but who are experts at dividing the community according to ethnic, sexuality, gender and any other number of identity groups that they like to bang on about. Councils—stay in your lane: roads, rates and rubbish. You communists!