Why are you a registered Political Party?
The problem for our group and any small “political party” is that the State Government is contemplating making it more difficult by increasing the minimum number of members required from 100 to 500 or 1000; it is about 10 times that for State Elections. Currently our team has less than 200 members, the minimum number to exist as a registered “political party” is 100 registered financial members.
Two of our members started the “Liverpool Community Independents Team” (LCIT) in 1994. Link here; http://lcit.com.au/founding-members/
That is not because we wanted to be a “political party” far from it, most people don’t like politics and believe that it has no place in local Councils and we agree. However, the facts are that for our team to survive and remain a viable alternative to the major parties we need to attract new members. There are several advantages of being a “registered political party” which has helped our team regularly obtain around 15% of the overall vote and rising. That is very good for a small group of dedicated people disappointed with local Politicians ignoring our communities real needs.
There are no obligations for any member to attend monthly meetings, functions etc. Our secretary sends regular emails of monthly meeting minutes and posts relevant information on our Website.
Do you intend to run for State or Federal Government?
Councillor Peter Harle JP is an elected LCIT Councillor for North Ward; his primary objective is to represent our community and its needs. He has absolutely no ties or obligations to any other registered political party or their agendas. Nor does he have intentions to run for State or Federal Government, unlike most party politicians that initially get elected to Local Councils and then use it as a stepping stone to State and Federal Government. Liverpool is a typical example, the list includes; current MP Paul Lynch, George Paciullo, Mark Latham, Stan and Craig Knowles, Allison Megarrity and Anne Stanley. Many more have done so in the past and will continue to do so, present batch included!
Councillor Karress Rhodes, is a first time Councillor and committed to making Liverpool a better place for all of its 200,000 plus residents, that includes increased jobs and business opportunities.
Which Ward do you represent?
Liverpool Local Government Area is divided into two Wards, North Ward and South Ward. Our Councillors do not discriminate and help residents irrespective of the Ward they live in and in particular the rural areas. Councillor Harle has family members in both Wards.
Do you have Councillors in both Wards?
LCIT currently has two Councillors elected; Peter Harle in North Ward and Karress Rhodes representing South Ward. In previous terms of Council, 2000-2004, two Councillors; Stephen Dobell Brown and Colin Harrington were elected. During the 2008-12 term Nadia Napoletano and Peter Harle were elected, while in the 2012-2016 term only Peter Harle was elected.
LCIT was represented by a Mayor and two Deputy Mayors in previous terms; Colin Harrington as Mayor and Nadia Napoletano and Peter Harle as Deputy Mayors. Councillor Peter Harle was re-elected with first time Councillor Karress Rhodes for the 2016 to 2020 terms.
How do I become a Member?
Members initially sign a membership form which is used to justify that we have the minimum number of members as required by the Electoral Commission of NSW. It is the total number of financial members that is so important, without them we cannot remain a “registered party” and utilise the benefits it offers.
Anyone can become a member provided they are not already a member of another registered political party. We do not discriminate on religious grounds although we broadly follow Christian family values.
Membership fees are by choice, $10 per year for a Community Member and $5 for an Associate Member. The year starts from 1st of July to following 31st of June. Membership fees pay for the monthly hire of the Community Centres and any mail-outs to those Members that do not have computers. Councillor Peter Harle also donates a substantial proportion of his Councillor allowance to ensure our organisation remains a viable alternative to the Major Parties.
Everyone is welcome to attend our once a month meeting, usually the first Thursday of the month from February to November (no meeting in January) starting at 7:00 pm and conclude at around 9:00 pm. Coffee, tea and biscuits provided. Attendance is usually between 12 to 25 residents, members and guests. Everyone is given the opportunity to ask questions and support on issues they may have when dealing with Liverpool City Council. Both Councillor Harle and Councillor Rhodes are registered as a “Justice of the Peace” (JP) which may be of help in witnessing documents etc.