Randwick City residents are being encouraged to adopt the entire council following the enormous success of the council’s Adopt a Drain initiative, which asked ratepayers to care for a public facility that would normally be the responsibility of the local government.
Ratepayers are thus being asked to adopt other public services.
Library – Street Libraries and Book Clubs will replace conventional libraries. Avid readers can take and leave books at their leisure. No library cards, no overdue fees. Book Clubs will provide a physical space to read and discuss literature without the distractions of screaming toddlers and free-range parents, remote workers using free WiFi, and teenagers ‘studying’ collaboratively.
Lawn mowing – Time for a good old-fashioned Working Bee. BYO mower, Whipper Snipper and edger to local parks and sports fields, as well as lunch, snacks and water. Make the playing surface playable, and put all those grass clippings into green bins. Nearby residents will supply a case of beer.
Redundant Rangers – Control your own dog. Keep it on a leash. Keep it out of prohibited spaces, and pick up after it.
Lifeguards – Randwick residents will be required to supervise their own children at swimming pools and beaches, freeing up lifeguards to work on their tan. Cleaning of public pools will also be handed over to locals. Anyone got a Creepy Crawly?
Street lighting – Locals will line the streets with candles and solar camping lights every night. Rosters will be circulated soon. Authorities will clamp down on groups of men carrying burning torches.
Rubbish collection – No more rubbish trucks. No more 5am wake-ups. Green thumbs will adopt green bins, conservationists will adopt yellow bins and the apathetic Aussie mainstream will adopt red bins. Locals can also take their own rubbish home from public spaces, and stop dropping cigarette butts.
DA- Home owners can approve their own Development Applications, just as property developers have been doing for years.
Tree planting – Locals will give up their free time to plant native trees in conjunction with council staff, only to see them all bulldozed by Gladys and the gang once they grow tall enough to house a koala.
Flag raising – One lucky citizen will be assigned to raise the national and state flags each morning. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags will fly on designated days so that locals, like politicians, can pretend to care about Indigenous Australians.
Adopt a Council will begin immediately, and will allow council to concentrate on more urgent busines such as erecting colourful banners in public spaces and congratulating themselves in SCENE.
Locals have already started rolling up their sleeves to protect this patch of paradise, and have begun to ask:
Do we need politicians?
First published in The Beast magazine, June 2021.