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Sticks and Stones

  • ISBN-13: 9780646596570
  • Publisher: GIETZELT & FAMILY
    Imprint: GIETZELT & FAMILY
  • Author: Gietzelt, Arthur
  • Price: AUD $29.99
  • Stock: 289 in stock
  • Availability: Order will be despatched as soon as possible.
  • Local release date: 27/04/2014
  • Format: Paperback (135.00mm X 210.00mm) 485 pages Weight: 600g
  • Categories: Biography: historical, political & military [BGH]
Table of

The Sutherland Shire is blessed with amenities that are second to none, including icons like Elouera Beach, ‘Shark Park’, Westfield ‘Miranda Fair’, ‘Tradies’, Camellia Gardens, Royal National Park and Towra Point Nature Reserve.

Sticks and Stones is Arthur Gietzelt’s inspiring account of the efforts and sometimes turbulent battles involving his local government team in shaping these and many other Shire landmarks. During his time as Councillor (1956-1971) and nine terms as Shire President, Arthur led the transformation of the Shire from largely bushland to an emerging modern day metropolis.
At the same time, Arthur was a left-wing stalwart and strategist within the Australian Labor Party, and he fought for wider causes such as the anti-apartheid and peace movements, social justice and the public good.
Arthur’s fighting qualities nearly cost him his life, when his family home was bombed in 1971. The assassination attempt was not long after he led the Council ban of a racially-selected South African surf lifesaving team from competing on Cronulla beaches. It was the first time an Australian government authority imposed sporting sanctions against South Africa for their apartheid policy.
This copious slice of local government history is compelling reading for anyone wishing to muster people power in support of a local cause, and is an essential resource for any institution teaching the political or social sciences.

The Honourable Arthur Thomas Gietzelt AO
has given a lifetime of service to the Australian
people: five years of army service, including
two trips overseas during the Second
World War; 15 years in local government; and
18 years in the Senate, serving two terms as a
Minister of the Crown in the 1980s.
From the time he returned from overseas in
1946, Arthur, together with his wife Dawn,
was driven by visions of a better life for
During his 15 years on Sutherland Shire
Council, including nine as its Shire President
(Mayor), he was the main architect of the
golden decade of infrastructure development
in the Shire, which earned him membership
of the Executive of the Local Government and
Shires Association of NSW for 4 years.
An attempt on his life in 1971 was the fifth
on public officeholders in Australia in the
20th century. He joined ranks with Peter
Baldwin, Arthur Calwell, Jim Cairns and
Percy Brookfield, who also experienced
murderous attacks from the Right of politics.
During his 18 years in the Federal Parliament,
Arthur helped win millions of dollars for local
government and became Minister for Veterans’
Affairs in the Hawke Government, where
he modernised 70 years of repatriation
legislation to create the Veterans’ Entitlement
Act, and instigated the Royal Commission into
the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam.
Arthur has held many positions at the Branch
and Electoral Council levels of the Australian
Labor Party, becoming one of the longestserving
members of Labor’s National Execuutive.
He retired as its Senior Vice President
in 1989.
He was awarded the Order of Australia for
services to Local Government and Parliament
in 1992, and a Centenary Medal in 2001 for
service to the community through the ALP
and the trade union movement. Arthur and
Dawn were granted Life Membership of the
ALP in 1994.
Arthur passed away in January 2014, just
weeks before this book went to print.

Acknowledgements ii
Abbreviations iii
It Was a Tough Start 5
The Great Southland 9
Paucity of Access and Services 12
Discovering the Shire 16
Dreams of Better Planning 23
War with Our Local Council 28
A Community Pub, a School and a Foundry 32
A Steep Learning Curve for Novices 40
Saving a Sanatorium 48
Caringbah under Pressure 51
A Planning Gem 57
What It Takes Is Change 62
Nine Hundred Pack Cecil Ballroom 71
A Club Is Born 80
Change Was Blowing in the Wind 96
Contemplating Leadership: A New Direction 100
A New Involvement 105
Finding More Money 109
Cars, Roads and Bridges 117
Being a ‘Good Sport’ 123
The Battles of 1962 126
Moving Forward Culturally 134
More Money, More Facilities 137
Honouring a Shire ‘Great’ 143
A Temporary Retreat 147
The Start of an Unbelievable Horror Stretch 150
A Tortuous, Crazy Inquisition 159
The Community Takes Stock 168
Restoring Fair Play 174
Moving into Neutral Territory 177
Assaulting ‘The Royal’ 181
New Sports Facilities: ‘Talk of the Town’ 189
Finding a Home for Rugby League 193
Kirinari: A Community Venture 202
The Machinations Multiply 208
Machinations Part II – Sensational Headlines 218
Machinations Part III – A Second Gruelling Inquiry 223
Jet Alley Deception 230
A New Beach – Elouera 249
Reaching out to Staff and the Community 255
A Remarkable Year 263
A Memorable Election Win 270
A ‘First’ – A United Council 281
The Bicentenary Celebrations 287
Keeping the Shire as One 299
Kurnell Belongs to the People 306
Taking a Stand on Racism 313
Attempted Assassination 319
1971 – A Year of Success 327
Thanks, Arthur 334
Some final words on liberating local government 357
Appendix A
Summary of relevant local newspaper articles 372
Appendix B
Testaments to Arthur’s achievements and integrity 388
Notes 401
References 441
Index 447

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