Olympic Games Defining Moments
Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games 2000 ‘Lone Horseman’ Steve Jefferys galloped into the arena on ‘Ammo’; cracked his whip, reared and disappeared. Was this the ultimate ‘defining moment’?
I confess this is another of my dated patrician philosophical perceptions; now reflections.
Are you rapidly approaching your use-by date when you begin to contemplate defining moments? Psychotherapist Mel Schwartz prescribes as follows: “Defining moments occur when we direct our lives onto a new pathway, borne of an illuminating insight and an expanded awareness”. I was actually somewhat flattered when former long term Councillor Peter Hodges remarked my statement in the UHSC chamber on Coal Seam Gas was a ‘defining moment’? Journalist Matt Walter (SMH Monday May 21, 2012) described Darren Lockyer’s magical try in the State of Origin decider in Melbourne in 2006 as a ‘defining moment’ for the Maroons? I like the association but not the colour of victory. The Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot this year was designated by most percipient pundits as a defining moment for Black Caviar. Thanks to Luke Nowlen and his self-confessional brain fade how close was that call! Georgina Robinson in the SMH (Tuesday, June 26, 2012) states the clean sweep of Wales by the Wallabies was a defining moment. Suddenly I’m feeling elated and in exalted company. After elation arrive deflation and its back to the prosaic present. I suppose many of you are already thinking any ‘defining moment’ involving me would inevitably include something to do with an overabundance of gas? The CSG industry has conceived an amusing euphemism: ‘fugitive emissions’. I could expatiate at length about it in a profane or vulgar way: incompetent sphincters and fugitive emissions’! Don’t think too much about it.
I suggest there have been quite a few defining moments during the current term of the UHSC? Cast your mind back to the Scone Traffic Lights, New Administration Building, Bickham Coal Mine, Timor Limestone Quarry, Bluett Award, Air Quality Monitoring, Wind Farms, Water Augmentation, Road and Rail Corridors in Scone and latterly Coal Seam Gas exploration? It’s quite a list. These happenings hardly fit into the Mel Schwartz definition but are defining decisions in the lifetime of an elected LGA. Previously I reflected on balance (‘Balance or Manifest Destiny’). Essentially balance is the process and outcome of a robust democracy. It may well be that 51% of you agree and/or concur and 49% vehemently disagree?
Which brings me to stewardship? As a mildly reluctant pre-teenager I vaguely remember being perched in a church congregation well over 50 years ago. My late mother was the organist and prevailed on my support to supply power to the hand-pumped bellows organ. While squirming on my rock hard elevated organ pew the presiding minister based his sermon on the interrogative: ‘Give an account of your stewardship’? I cannot recall anything of his address but even today I still reflect on his title pronouncement? Now it’s my turn? Ubiquitous Wikipedia defines stewardship is an ethic that embodies responsible planning and management of resources. The concept of stewardship has been applied in diverse realms, including with respect to environment, economics, health, property, information, and religion, and is linked to the concept of sustainability. Sounds like the running sheet for a LGA? The bottom line says you look after something belonging to someone else. For me this has meant writing prepared statements on most if not all the defining decisions reflected above. ‘Say what you do and do what you say’? I have reported on some of these via this medium. I would like to think I/we had earned a pass mark. During my extended University career I acquired some acumen in attaining 51%. Maybe this was prescient preparation for a truncated career in local government? You try to please a marginal majority. Robert D. Kaplan in ‘An Empire Wilderness – Travels into America’s Future’ has defined democracy thus: ‘Democracy has evolved as the lowest common denominator of practical wisdom for a nation of individuals, most of whom prefer to be left alone to make money’. Churchill considered it to be the worst form of government except for all the rest! Suddenly I feel better!
Are you/did you contemplate ‘throwing your hat in the ring’ come September? Perhaps it’ll be your turn to define the moments? Constructive suggestions and studied solutions are most palatable. I know from experience that it’s much more productive. As the “Two Ronny’s’ used to sign off: “It’s goodbye from me and goodbye from him”! Thank you for your support or otherwise tolerance and patience during this term of local government!