14 sleeps. Day 23. They say it, it must be true

There are many important causes out there that need the attention of concerned citizens. Things like the fight against crime, the rights of pedestrians, and the lot of ratepayers.
Fear not, citizens, because for each of these important issues there’s a bunch of like-minded types who are happy to go into bat on our behalf. They form an association, give themselves an important sounding name and head into battle.
Groups like The Pedestrian Council of Australia, Residents Against Crime and the ACT Ratepayers Association.
Who are these organisations, how many members do they have and what are their names? Buggered if I know. Buggered if anyone knows. But Andrew Barr’s pretty convinced the ACT Ratepayers Association is of little consequence. Why else would he flip them the political equivalent of the bird today?
The Association put out a media release this morning titled ‘Triple rates not a lie – Labor withholding truth’. The Association’s boss, Peter Jensen, slapped a graph in the release which he claimed proved Labor will have to triple rates to recover the money it loses by abolishing stamp duty. And Jensen quotes the government’s own 2011/12 budget papers.
Less than an hour later, the Liberal Party put out it’s own media release, saying the ratepayers association had confirmed Labor’s lies.
How did Barr respond? He initially tweeted ‘so the Liberal Party agrees with itself – surprise, surprise’.
He followed up later with another tweet ‘the ‘Ratepayers Association’ does not represent anyone but themselves – a handful of people.’
Is he right? Jensen does seem to be the association’s only spokesman, and they don’t have their own web page. They are referenced on a four-paragraph webpage belonging to the Property Owners Association of the ACT. I know what you’re thinking – how lucky are we in the ACT to have both a Ratepayers Association and a Property Owners Association?
According to Andrew Barr, not very lucky at all. Even if no-one really knows who these concerned citizens are. Or citizen.

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Some ratepayers recently. Maybe not members of Ratepayers Association

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One response to “14 sleeps. Day 23. They say it, it must be true

  1. Yes Ross. I’ve been both a ratepayer and property owner in the ACT for decades and I’ve never heard of Mr Jensen or his organisation. By dint of their title he/his organisation claims to represent people like me yet he hasn’t bothered to introduce himself (in any way) or explain what his group stands for and what it’s aims are. He doesn’t even appear to have a telephone number, so I can’t be sure that he’s a real person, let alone an ACT resident. Call me cynical but they might just as easily be known as the Canberra Ratepayers And Property (CRAP) Assocation.

    PS I have no affiliation with any political party.
    Yours etc
    President, Honesty and Politics Don’t Mix Institute

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