Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Well, I didn't keep this blog going all the way to the 13 September elections, it got too busy for that and it was not appropriate to run commentary on tactical situations as they evolved. 

I did present policies and reform proposals at www.shoalhaven2020.net

Here is an email that I sent around to tell people what I am doing now. 

On 03/10/2008, at 12:46 PM, Dennis Argall wrote:

After the Sept 13 elections, I sent around an email to many - but discovered some time later that there were a number of key people it had NOT reached. Sorry! Thanks again for the ideas, the support and practical help.

Now is the time to review things again.

It has been an interesting process shifting gear after the result that saw me NOT elected to any positiion.

In a new preface to www.shoalhaven2020.net I have written that
"I am pleased that I made some contribution to achieving [regime change]. I was myself unsuccessful as a candidate... though it is a great honour to find that having come from nowhere into the political debate, thousands of people had confidence to vote for me. And I am in many ways pleased not to have been elected as I am more an agent of change, a provocateur of policy, than a long term administrator."

I have found it interestingly complicated, or complicately interesting, to readjust from the full days and nights I gave to the campaign. A process not complete. A need for personal redefinition, given also changes in personal life during this year.

I have to find time (I want to find time) to catch up personally with many who helped, new friends acquired, old friends relied on, ideas batted, ideas needing development.

I am going to stay away from the council's business till Christmas at least. It is not for me to be there nagging as they get on their feet. I am concerned that others also realise we need to see the council as part of community. It is ours, we are not theirs. They are not just roads, paths and sewers, they are supposed to lead and good leaders empower and inspire community. Leadership breeds leadership, does not suck up power.

I do have one FOI (or LGA Section 12) request in place, for Huscorp related material.

I am concerned that the council shift to routine openness, not routine secrecy - as required by law, See these court cases so you know what should/should not be happening:

Wykanak v Rockdale City Council and Anor. [2001] NSWLEC 65
M & R Civil Pty Limited v Hornsby Council [2003] NSWLEC 13
(both are cases where the court held that Council acted illegally in closing a meeting)

I have been pleased that through this process my new (April) back garden continued to supply abundant greens and I am now able (as are the weeds in spring!) to give the garden more attention. I am also in my eleventh year as owner builder here:
http://aplaceof.info/mounteurobodalla/ only just gotten back briefly after months away!

I am also giving proper time now to the Nowra Youth Centre, where I am on the management committee. The NYC is four years old and needs support to sustain itself as a secular institution of value to youth in the city. If any of you are interested in being part of that please let me know. There is need for volunteers in this and that but especially a large need for members of a positive policy oversight board.

I am also working on collaborative projects with my remarkable friend Raul Caceres,
http://www.think-makers.com/ - look at 'Commercials' and the first item - NABUUR Ref: Volunteers profile.
We share a frustration with Nabuur but have continuing commitment to the business of shifting international development towards empowerment rather than delivery of things designed elsewhere.

I have just sent a modest amount of money to Vince of www.easterncongo.net so he can build an income generating project across the border in Uganda.

I am supporting Fred through university. http://aplaceof.info/acoke/

I am hoping that the team of bulls and plough for which I sent his dad http://aplaceof.info/acoke/0705update.htm money several months ago have been trained well and will be able to be used (once again this year Uganda is under a deluge of flood waters) to grow food for the community which has been sent by the government back from their refugee camp to their war devastated village.

I have to find time to visit Uganda and the Congo soon.

Raul is (among lots of other projects - my daughter Liz also now involved as comic writer with his Juarez project at http://www.wecan4peace.org/ ) currently contracted to the NSW Cancer Council to try to get their online support groups to work... the old problem of top down management versus bottom-up community empowerment, in the critical area of the so-called 'cancer journey' where control and empowerment are critical to success for the individual in so many ways. I 'manage' a brain tumour support group I set up in 2000 when my then wife Margaret was being killed by a brain tumour. With a membership of perhaps 500 it is the most inspiring example of community I know.
My model and inspiration, full of life and character, bravery and positiveness in adversity. Raul and I share the empowerment perspective and we will try to build processes for more effective support groups generally. .. oh and um I have to build some new briefing papers for OzBrainTumour members by Chirstmas too.

Amid all that, I do want to find time for personal identity including in art, photography, writing etc. I do regard the creation of policy designs, as over the last few months, as a creative process, but I want some room for self-indulgence too... This is pretty exciting. I hope you are making the most of your year also.

Oh, and an especially big outcome from the whole election campaign is that Cara Longbottom, number 2 on my ticket in ward 2, today began study at the Shoalhaven Campus of U of W - a transition program to BA next year. Cara was an extraordinary candidate, who grew throughout the campaign as she will also grow at university

best wishes


Dennis Argall

Sunday, July 13, 2008

updating the web site

I have put up a clearer presentation of policy and commitments now at www.shoalhaven2020.net

Do let me have comments!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I confess I've been running and building pages of commitments and things to be done in a new kind of council, over at www.shoalhaven2020.net

Do go have a look. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

East Nowra Sub-Arterial Road

I made clear at a meeting at the council last night, where the council was presenting its traffic management plans for the extension of the Stocklands shopping complex, that putting traffic through this community was simply unacceptable. This council has allowed the east Nowra community to slip, over thirty years (Mayor Watson first presided over our local government in 1978), to a situation of social disadvantage comparable with western NSW. I have placed background information on East Nowra including links to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Index of Social Disadvantage among papers supporting my 100 Days document.

This means in practice that the Council should abandon the $4 million pork barrel of election enhancing projects it secretly put in the budget at a councillor 'briefing' two weeks ago. It also means a timing adjustment for the North Nowra Link Road. On the ABS's Index of Social Index the Shoalhaven overall scores 964. North Nowra scores 1004, Bangalee, Tapitallee, Cambewarra 1093. East Nowra scores 826... Only two local government areas rate below Nowra's score — in the far west of NSW - Brewarrina 764 and Central Darling 821. I get this information via the Shoalhaven Council web site. The council knows this situation, it has allowed this situation to develop, it has allowed the Stocklands project to roll forward having in mind simply that they can roll traffic through the most vulenrable community we have. Unacceptable, appalling, I will have no part of that. 

I live in North Nowra, I do drive and walk Illaroo Road in peak times. The problems of traffic demand more fundamental adjustments, including 
  • the highway bypass to the west, as soon as possible after Berry to Bomaderry.
  • another bridge
In that context, the provocative North Nowra Link Road over Bomaderry Creek (not mentioned in the mayor's ridiculous brochure assurances that he a is true greenie) is a ticket to ride to the polls, not to anywhere important to long term design. It will, with increased southbound traffic funnelled from further north onto the highway, irritate people coming from Bomaderry and Bolong Road - their entry will be made more diffcult. Short term, where are the solutions to the traffic jam at Princes Highway-Bridge Road? That traffic jam is what blocks the Illaroo Rd-Princes Highway corner. Where is the right turn traffic going? Is it going beyond the CBD. If so, let's calm the traffic going that way, to encourage vehicles to stay on the highway and turn right further south. 


Monday, June 30, 2008

100 Days- fuel and food crisis

I have added a commitment to convene a Fuel and Food Crisis Summit. Go to the 100 Days page for more.

Friday, June 27, 2008

100 Days update - promise regarding gaol

I have made some additions to my 100 Days document. These include a promise to address urgently the impact on Nowra of the new gaol. Click here to read - the amendments are in red.


You can click on the image to enlarge. 

I have placed a map of our electoral wards - derived from the map at the council's web site - alongside an image of the coast from GoogleEarth

The lower lip of Jervis Bay is missing from the ward map - the Federal Jervis Bay Territory is not in NSW or the Shoalhaven.