In the great scheme of things, Item 9.10 of the current agenda is trivial and far from earth shattering. Yet, it is a microcosm of the rot that distinguishes this council and its administration. The report is about fences on borders and whether Council should include information on its website that residents can access. Hardly revolutionary, hardly controversial and hardly likely to bring down the citadel. Yet the report (written once again by Mr Anonymous!) recommends the usual – do nothing!

Even with something so basic, the report is skewed and peppered with woeful logic, plus a disdain for residents that comes through strongly and clearly.

The arguments for doing nothing are quite literally appalling, childish and contradictory. There’s no need for council to do anything because residents can use ‘Google’ to get the required information, plus –It would be uncommon for members of the public to go, in the first instance, to the Glen Eira Council website to search for information on boundary fences. Really? Then why claim a few sentences later that council is frequently called by residents on such matters as gas, transport, centrelink, etc. If residents don’t know who is responsible for these latter areas and call council, then why should they have any more ‘legal’ knowledge about fences?

We’re then told that the job of council is to direct callers to the appropriate authorities. All well and good – but residents might not call – they might simply go to the website looking for information!

The final kick in the guts to residents comes with these gems of paragraphs –

The purpose of Council’s website is to provide residents with information about issues that Council can assist with. It is not to provide them with information on every issue that may affect them, such as dividing fence issues.

If residents were to see information on issues that Council has no control over, such as dividing fences, then it may lead to the question – “If Council can’t help me then why do they have information about it on their website?”

It follows that placing information on Council’s website about boundary fences warrants placing information on the website about other non-Council controlled matters. Taken further, it could be argued that Council’s website should include information about income tax returns, or passport applications; matters which are also important to the community.

Of course, nowhere in this mass of puerile logic will readers find one statement about fences that sit on the border of council and private land and council’s responsibility to pay for half, or to compensate owners when their trees damage private fences. That aspect of important information for residents does not rate a mention. Search the website and all that one can find relates to the mandatory fences around swimming pools.

How such drivel and disdain for the public can be allowed into the public domain is beyond belief. It is arrogance of the highest order that in our view even surpasses the arrogance of the Melbourne Racing Club. In Glen Eira, residents simply don’t matter except as the permanent cash cows to keep such anonymous authors in a job!

And what on earth is the problem with putting up a single webpage? Surely this could have been done much cheaper without a ‘request for a report’ and some bean counter spending an hour or two devising a way to say – get stuffed? How much did his time cost ratepayers?

Thankfully, not every council is so toxic and anti-community as Glen Eira. After a perfunctory search, here are the URLs for information on fence borders that all these other councils think is worthwhile to put up on their respective websites.…/Fences_Boundary_Rules_Info_Generic.pdf–Building/Building-services/Fences/