Rick Wallces’s story on Ombudsman’s inquiry into Brimbank Council
IT is said in Melbourne’s western suburbs that the Kirner Labor government didn’t spring into action on the Coode Island chemical fire in 1991 until late in the day when the wind started blowing the toxic smoke from the Footscray storage depot towards the city.
It’s a jaundiced view but it shows Labor’s strongest supporters have felt for a long time that their party of choice takes them for granted. The west is home to a patchwork of ultra-safe Labor seats and has been the springboard for some glittering Labor careers.
Its residents – a mix of migrants, battling families and blue-collar workers – continue voting for Labor though their facilities and services are well behind the rest of the city. For their loyalty, they have been rewarded with a local ALP machine rotten to the core.
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