A SUITABLY dour CEO glares out at us from the front page of the paper challenging us to say what should be stopped as far as the WDC spending is concerned. For us, the ratepayers, to know what might be stopped, we must first know the financial costs involved.

So I have a set of questions for Mr Fell. In the last financial year (2017-2018) what was the amount spent on each of the following?

1. External consultants.
2. Commissioning reports from external sources.
3. External lawyers and legal opinion/advice.
4. External peer reviews.
5. External independent reviews.
6. Consultation with external organisations, bodies and individuals.
7. Fines levied by other official bodies for non-compliance.
8. Staff travel and accommodation.
9. The monetary costs of delays to projects caused by changes in the project after so-called "finalisation".

I'm sure an organisation as transparent as the WDC purports to be will have no problem providing the figures requested.

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I appreciate the figures are for the last financial year, recognising that the accounts for the current year have not yet been finalised. However, they should give a guide to the current costs and possible suggestions for savings.

G.J. MOLES
Castlecliff


Living Standards

I'm pleased to see Frank Greenall's mention of Treasury's 2011 Living Standards Framework.

I have a copy of this and have been puzzled as to why it has not been referenced by political commentators discussing the Government's emphasis on wellbeing.

Another example of this not being a new idea is found in Jane Gleeson-White's "Six Capitals" written in 2014.

It urges us to rethink our idea of capital by extending the familiar concepts of financial and manufactured capital to include four new categories of wealth: intellectual, human social and relationship, and natural capital.

JENNY SAYWOOD
Whanganui


Votes and beliefs

Frank Greenall (May 23) creates the impression that Australian voters decided on business as usual, but that conceals a democratic threat across the ditch on May 18.

All major parties had disenfranchised voters desert them as around 680,000 people who voted for the parties in 2016 chose one of the two minor parties instead.

Deals done prior to the election by the Coalition with both minor parties meant their preferences flowed through to the Coalition in large part, thereby influencing the declared result.

There are multifarious reasons for people choosing which candidate they will put a cross beside on the ballot paper. Analysts will continue to dissect the data to assist political parties in formulating policies for the future.

One early pointer emerging from the information is the concern those holding religious beliefs had of being uncertain Labor would support religious freedom. Pre-election false allegations supporting this argument were made.

A senior church leader prior to the election spoke of his support for Labor's economic policies but said he would not vote for the party because of that issue.

Beliefs can be intrinsically powerful motivators when deciding which party to support.
Multi-faith lobby groups targeted Labor electorates where over 50 per cent of voters had responded "No" to the same sex marriage survey.

Their objective statement of "We are determined to stop senior people in Labor who are godless from making sweeping changes to our rights".

Despite the democratic process revealing 61.6 per cent of Australian voters supported the change, some in the community believe giving marriage equality has lowered societal values.

Their view of government of the people, by the people, for the people having no role to play challenges Australia's democracy.

Conservative false fearmongering of the type witnessed in recent times herds citizens into tribes, freezing their focus on to the tribe's objective, demanding democracy serve their wants even at the expense of the community-wide current and future needs. Overcoming self-interest groups requires that democratic leaders create their societal vision for the future and then seek the populations' engagement.

MAX WARBURTON
Whanganui


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