Catherine Ng has had seven years as chair of Melbourneâ€™s Planning Committee to do something about alcohol-fuelled noise and violence that does so much to disturb residents and disrupt businesses in the Melbourne central business district.
She has presided over the obscenity of King Street, the debauchery of Swanston Street and the rising tide of beatings and begging, vomit and graffiti that sometimes seems to threaten to engulf Melbourne in the wee hours. She was elected Chair of Planning in 2001 and the problem has got worse and worse.
Itâ€™s standard fare of course for different levels of government to blame each other for failing to problem solve.
Cr Ngâ€™s attendance record (the Councilâ€™s worst) and her failure to take meaningful action makes her attempts to spin all the more lame.
Her weapon of mass distraction is to put up a King Street style song and dance over the councilâ€™s plan to stop pubs and bars over a certain size operating in a particular area.
Itâ€™s a plan sheâ€™s not even that committed to. She says she just wants to have it â€œdiscussedâ€.
Itâ€™s a plan that â€“ like much of what the council has done â€“ probably wonâ€™t solve anything which is the reason why the Planning Minister has told them that he wonâ€™t approve it because itâ€™s â€œstrategically deficientâ€. In other words, his Department says it wonâ€™t solve the problem and it could quite possibly prompt more booze-swilling capacity with an increase in the number of smaller venues.
Without being too cruel about it, frankly itâ€™s pathetic that after seven years the best Melbourneâ€™s Chair of Planning can manage is an idea doomed to fail and arguably merely designed to distract.
The time has come to elect people whoâ€™ll show up to meetings, stand up for residents and fix up the Cityâ€™s real and many problems.
It is certain beyond doubt that Catherine Ng, dubbed Catherine of Arrogant by Council insiders, is the least qualified of all Lord Mayoral candidates to do any of that.
Not everyone agrees though. At a debate among the candidates last night, one of her Ng’s entourage was former Liberal upper house MP Cameron Boardman. But we thought Ng was politically “independent”. More likely she’s as fake as one of her dodgy Fendi handbags of questionable provenance.