Taking credit for the Victoria Creek project
AS you would be aware, the State member for Bega has been known in the past to suggest that the Victoria Creek upgrade is a consequence of his activities and lobbying.
This could be true. I'm personally not in a position to refute or contest any such claim as I simply don't have all the necessary facts that could enable me to make an informed judgement about which person, persons, organisations or agencies might have been the principal contributors to the original upgrade decision.
However, what the available facts indisputably show is that this proposed upgrade got formally underway at least as far back as 2008 when the NSW RTA announced and displayed the details of it to the local community and went through a formal community consultation period between November 2008 and January 2009.
Then during 2009, a detailed Review of Environmental Factors (REF) was undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.
I personally remember seeing a large team of people working on this for some time near the old bridge.
The formal REF report clearing the way for the upgrade was subsequently issued in December 2009.
This upgrade was approved by the former NSW government and put out to tender prior to the 2011 change of State government.
So any recent suggestion or implication that the Victoria Creek upgrade is a consequence of the election of the O'Farrell government in March 2011 would be seriously inaccurate.
Likewise, the initiative and funding for the Bega bypass is totally the responsibility of the Federal Labor Government and was a key commitment given to the electorate by Mike Kelly prior to the 2007 election.
Any suggestion that the O'Farrell Government could in any way claim any responsibility for this major initiative would be utterly inaccurate.
ALP member, Narooma
Hunting doesn’t fit with nature reputation
WHEN the Eurobodalla Tourist Board issues its glossy publication promoting tourism on the coast will they be happy to add "Learn to kill animals" to its listed of suggested children's activities? (p.32)
These activities now include such happy, innocent things as
*Cycle Dalmeny to Narooma
*Cuddle a wombat at Birdland Park
*Snorkel to explore our underwater world
*Learn to surf with a surf school
*Ride a horse at Oaks Ranch.
A “family festival” of hunting to be held mid-winter in downtown Narooma would only damage our well-deserved reputation as a beautiful place to live or to spend a perfect holiday.
We should continue to oppose the HuntFest by letting the shire councillors who approved it for the next five years know the views of the community, as distinct from the propaganda of the Hunters and Shooters Association.
"Bring out your better nature", as the slogan on this year's cover says...
Camel Rock appears in top photo mag
I RETURNED from Bermagui a few days ago. I also recently purchased N Photo Magazine January 2013 edition.
This magazine is printed in the UK and on page 26, a gentleman by the name of Bhuminan Piyathasanan of Australia, has a “Mysterious fairyland” photo of what I believe is Camel Rock.
ARTICLE: Quote “This Photo is taken at one of the best seascape rock formations I know, which is in Bermagui, situated on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia.” End quote.
This article is fantastic for the local economy. The N Photo Magazine is focused on Nikon camera enthusiasts worldwide.
Check website www.nphotomag.com for more details - Issue 15.
Time to repair the rift on council
A CONCERNED ratepayer asked me last week whether our new council was a coalition of the “has beens” and the Greens, fighting a reformist “IRA”.
I had to correct the acronym, but the rest of his description was very close to the mark.
Late last month the ERA councillors moved to have Eurobodalla’s sea level rise policy repealed in the interests of the thousands of ratepayers whose properties have been seriously and unnecessarily devalued by this policy.
The old brigade voted against it, and the mayor used his casting vote to defeat the motion.
This month the ERA councillors moved to moderate the salary package to be offered to candidates for the vacant general manager position.
The mayor again used his casting vote to approve a very high salary package that will “bait the hook” for the best candidate possible.
I would have thought that the performance of the last general manager would have demonstrated that expensive general managers do not necessarily result in a well performing council.
The disastrous LEP and sea level rise policy developed under the outgoing general manager’s direction should be proof enough.
What we need is a solid general manager with strong interpersonal and financial management skills.
We need a person who can balance the needs of ratepayers and the environment, as well as balance the books.
A person who is prepared to sit back and let the larger, more financial councils, set the pace in policy development, and then recommends the best of these policies for our shire.
A person who is able to lead council’s management team and restore a ratepayer focus in those council staff who have forgotten who they are serving.
We don’t need a local government star performer. Just a mature and respected leader who wants the coveted Eurobodalla lifestyle in return for a moderate salary package that is commensurate with the size and demographics of this shire.
It is time for the new mayor and his old brigade to acknowledge the failings of the previous council, and stop blocking the change the shire voted for at the last election.
It is also time for the ERA to open its doors to the old brigade and to work at repairing the rift that is dividing this council.
Get the balance right Mr Mayor and this council, supported by a good general manager, could go down as one of the best in the Shire’s history. Keep going in the same direction, and it is likely to implode.
Take your rubbish home
DEAR people of Narooma, as a recent “new resident”, coming from a city where dropping a cigarette butt or piece of litter can earn you a fine of up to $250, I’m amazed at the carelessness of people’s disposal of their litter.
Everywhere I have walked in this town, I have found [in some cases] nests of litter.
On my first visit down to arrange accommodation, a friend and I, cleared a 200m stretch of the mangroves and filled a garbage bag, also discarded in the mangroves.
This did not give me a very good impression of the place I intended moving to.
Consequently, in the six months I have been living here, I have observed the further growth of the litter problem.
There are two groups responsible for removal of litter. First is Council. Mainly to clear street bins and keep town centre tidy.
Second is the town population. They are the people responsible for keeping the rest of the town tidy.
Australia itself is fast becoming a rubbish dump with the amount of litter discarded along our highways and byways.
I’d hate to see this town, paradise as I call it, drown under the immense amount of discarded litter that we all produce.
I would ask all Narooma’s residents to think first before they throw away their next piece of litter.
If it can be recycled, put it in a recycle bin.
If green litter, put on the compost heap, if neither of these, put it in the rubbish bin.
But please! If you bought it with you, don’t discard it into the bush or streets, take it home if there is no appropriate place to dispose of it and put it in your own rubbish/recycle bin.
A good clean-up of our streets is required and you the residents of this town are the ones who need to be doing it.
Localised heat wave
I AM pleased that Michael Kocwin (News letters 16/1) found my prior letter amusing.
His letter I find bemusing as he quotes a localised heat wave in Australia as evidence of global warming.
“One swallow does not make a summer” Michael, but to add a little further humour for you, “Summer does make one swallow” as any bar attendant will verify.
Climate warmists love to use such high heat instances, but dismiss our recent cool to cold winters as “weather”.
It's a global picture we are looking at. Australia has had a record of many hot summers, and it is a part of life for us.
I refer Michael to the report issued late last year by the UK Met Office, admitting that no significant world warming had happened since 1997. Furthermore, they do not anticipate any change for a few years to come.
The report was issued on Christmas Eve, a traditional ploy of politicians et al for “bad news” press releases. Strange that!
Don’t ignore sun warnings
I AM writing regarding the Grandpa’s Garden advertorial in last week’s Narooma News.
There is a large body of high quality, peer-reviewed scientific work that indicates a causal link between over-exposure to the sun and skin damage, which can lead to skin cancers, including melanoma which, if it metastasises, will result in a slow and painful death.
To use public media to promote the view that this is not the case is, at the least, ignorant misinformation and, at the worst, cynical and destructive vandalism.
In my opinion, the proprietor of Grandpa’s Garden is doing exactly what she relentlessly accuses big business of doing – telling lies and misinforming people in order to increase the profits of her business.
Just because you have an opinion or believe something does not make it true.
It reminds me of the old joke about people marching and one person wondering why everybody else is out of step.
In this case it is not funny because the consequences of the propagation of this blind attitude may well, in the long term, be unnecessary pain and suffering for others.
Pedestrian crossing vital
I CAN'T agree with Ken Burke's opinion enough regarding the need for a pedestrian crossing located on the Narooma Flat.
I spend quite a bit of time with a disabled person who has mobility due to a battery operated scooter.
This scooter has given Gavin enormous scope to travel around Narooma for shopping and social outings.
He cannot get across the highway, in busy or holiday times, without risk of being hit.
He has not got the confidence to use the “island crossing” with cars both in front and behind him, too daunting for him to attempt.
I witness everyday people dodging and weaving their way across the highway to access the shops, the bakeries etc and it must be only a matter of time when someone is hit.
I've already discussed this with Lindsay Brown who sympathises with the situation but has directed me to contact Mike Kelly and the RTA (RMS).
Thanks Ken for raising the issue again.
“A road by any other name”
I SEE that some signs have gone up to name the three sections of old highway excised by the new Victoria Creek Upgrade of the Princes Highway.
The northern section leading to Brushgrove Lane and also turning onto the old highway past the Tilba Winery has been named “Old Highway” which seems fair enough.
The middle section that crosses the old Victoria Creek Bridge and accesses the two properties on that side and Clonlea via an underpass doesn’t seem to have been named with a “Residents Access Only” sign erected.
My concern is with the southern section of the old highway where there seems to be partly covered signage ready to go saying “Victoria Creek Road”. I fear that this signage has been installed in the wrong location and should have been for the middle section that actually goes close to and over Victoria Creek.
The southern section of road will start near the Central Tilba turnoff and return to the new upgrade about 250 metres short of Victoria Creek. It is located completely on the other side of the new upgrade road from the nearest part of Victoria Creek so the name “Victoria Creek Road” would seem to be totally inappropriate.
Given the recognised heritage significance of the Tilba area and the fact that most roads in the area are named after historic properties or people, could I suggest that the Tilba community be consulted on a name for this section of road that is appropriate.
One suggestion I would like to offer is “Kent Farm Road” as that’s still the name of the originally selected Read property located along that road as well as the site of the old “Kent Farm Gate School” which was replaced by the new Central Tilba School on its present location in 1900.
I hope that you can get this error fixed before the rest of the road is opened.