JOHN FARQUAR

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ARE YOU BEING ‘DIDLED?’

Hey, I just saw a terrific movie this past June called “Money Monster” and thoroughly recommend it to you, the theme being that an angry man had been diddled by the big company out of his investment but don’t let me spoil your enjoyment. You may empathise with the angry man after he accepted promises made that came back to bite him.

It reminded me of an article in the Chronicle recently and residents should be aware of possible ‘diddlement’, often by well meaning people. Money generated from the sale of a building in your area and a promise to spend the profit on a local project to compensate the community.

Firstly, stalling tactics “can’t decide what project” –“Put your money in a safe place”. The term “restricted asset account” is used to appease people.

In real life about 20 years ago a suburb was promised money (a grant) be spent in their area. A project was firmly in mind but the money was insufficient so a “restricted asset account” was used while more funds were gathered.

Over the years when these funds were mentioned reassurance was given loud and proud.

Years later when council was embarrassed into taking some notice of the planned project reports were called for “Yes Minister.”

Money in a normal savings account (3 to 4 per cent) would have tripled over the 20 years but behold the truth cometh “a restricted asset account gathers no interest.” In fact, the money was invested and any interest realised was banked into General Revenue for quarries, Hornsby pool, and horse venue.  

Embarrassed councillors resolved to right the wrong and ruled that if the funds were invested in Berowra land the profit from the land sale would be used for an ‘A’ ward project. A few million dollars were realised but now the current Mayor and councillors have decreed that the original amount promised would be the most we could and would get.

Beware ratepayers in C- ward, is the wool being pulled over your eyes?

What do you think a politician’s promise is worth? Should put yourselves in harm’s way – between a politician and a pile of money?

Did we end up diddled and angry?  What do you think?

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John Farquar is a member of the Berowra District Community Association.
Contact : mickandjanellemarr@hotmail.com

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