Turning the tide at council
SOME residents may not be aware that the Eurobodalla council has employed consultants to carry out flood surveys associated with Mummuga Lake, in addition to other lakes at Dalmeny, Kianga and Wagonga Inlet.
These studies will incorporate predicted sea level rises laid down by the State Government.
There is no doubt that the recommendations will have extreme impacts on many coastal properties. As with some 200,000 properties along the east coast of NSW speculative findings have already impacted on the value of many residential and commercial properties.
If implemented in our area it will seriously affect the livelihood and aspirations of many resident and non-resident ratepayers.
Insurance premiums could also rise tenfold for those properties considered flood prone by the consultants and council planners. The consultants, councillors and council staff are excluded from any legal liability as a result of any findings and have advised that they will include relevant details on 149 Certificates.
The effect of this decision will be compounded by the current councillor’s proposals to permit large scale development looming above Dalmeny, Kianga and Narooma.
These areas are totally within the catchment of the flood study. Council has stated in correspondence that any previous studies will not be considered.
Representations and submissions have been made to the current councillors and ignored with the approval of a flawed LEP.
Representations made to the Minister for Planning and the Director of State Planning have also been ignored despite the fact that the findings of this study will be by far the most significant issue to affect our community in recent times.
It is intended to hold a public meeting as soon as a new council is elected which hopefully will include many new understanding faces.
Remember the public reaction and outcome of council’s development and sale proposals for the Dalmeny campground and associated headland.
It will require the same level of community involvement to prevent it from adopting sea level rise policies without complete transparency and public participation.
This is our chance once again to turn the tide against irresponsible decision making.
Lloyd-Jones case facts
I’M afraid that the article “Lloyd-Jones granted leave to appeal” (Bega District News Aug. 10) may have led to some misunderstanding by your readers. Please allow me to explain as succinctly as possible what has actually happened so far in this case.
7/02/2009 – Sister Laurel Lloyd Jones wrote a letter to the Premier of NSW on behalf of the Justice and Reconciliation Committee (of which I am a member) requesting action regarding incidents that had occurred previously at Bermagui. A copy of that letter was emailed to members of the committee and two media outlets.
9/05/2011 – Following lodgement of defamation action by BVSC Mayor Tony Allen regarding comments in that letter about his behaviour, District Court Judge Andrew Colefax found Sr Lloyd-Jones guilty and awarded damages and costs against her.
6-7/03/2012 – An application for leave to appeal by Sr Lloyd-Jones and the actual appeal were heard before Supreme Court Judges Beazley, McColl and Nicholas.
1/08/2012 – The judges’ determinations on both the application for leave to appeal and the appeal itself were handed down.
That determination upheld the defence of qualified privilege in respect of publication of the letter to the committee but not to the two media outlets. It also allowed the appeal in part and set aside two of the original orders plus remitted the matter back to the District Court for determination of the defence of truth.
Matters of truth, comment, honest opinion, qualified privilege and malice are determined in the judgement and it can be read in full at http://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/action/PJUDG?jgmtid=159911.
I’m sure that many of your readers will appreciate this clarification.
Time for reflection
IT is time for the Dalmeny community to farewell the outgoing shire councillors and reflect on their legacy.
Let’s start with the rezoning of our urban lake and coastal parkland from open space to the E2 conservation zoning with a core objective of restoration to native bushland. This move to reduce the recreational value of our community land was accompanied by a reduction in council maintenance activities and has resulted in lower land values as wary buyers avoid properties that are affected by extreme conservation zonings.
As part of the LEP, this council also rezoned the large tract of forest land bounded by Mort Avenue, Duesburys Road and the Princes Highway for a 700-lot residential subdivision without any public consultation, environmental assessment, fire study or flood study to assess the effect of the development on Mummuga Lake and low lying properties in its stormwater path.
To add to the environmental hypocrisy, council has made no attempt to control access to this largely council owned land, and allowed it to be turned into an off-road vehicle playground. As a result of the severe erosion, silt pours into the lake after every rain event.
The “Myuna Street delta” has also doubled in size as a result of council’s mismanagement of a 20-lot subdivision in the stormwater catchment. This stormwater silt spit now extends well out into the south basin of the lake.
In recent weeks, a section of the public reserve off Attunga Street and Mummuga Lake Way was rezoned to allow it to be sold off for residential use, despite it being assessed as ultra-sensitive E2 land in the LEP.
To top it off, we faced the threat of closure of our community hall and tennis courts if rates were not increased beyond the limits set by the NSW Government, totally ignoring the fact that a large percentage of our residents are aged pensioners or low income earners, who do not have the financial capacity to meet any rate hikes.
Would those council candidates canvassing votes in the Dalmeny area please let us know your position on each of these issues and the action you would take to restore our faith in local government.
THE beauty of the Sapphire Coast compelled me to purchase a property here 15 years ago.
After living here for a while, I discovered that there used to be a healthy population of koalas here in Kiah.
The 1951 fires all but wiped them out, leaving a small number in the Bega valley.
With the decline of habitat, their survival has been difficult.
However, with the discovery of a population in the Tanja State Forest, we have a chance to preserve this area to ensure the continued survival of the Bega valley koalas.
Let’s take pride in our beautiful landscape and it’s inhabitants, saving what we have left for future generations!
For the sake of a few temporary jobs, we will lose a great opportunity to generate a permanent income from the tourist dollar.
Everyone loves koalas, they are the most iconic species that overseas tourists identify Australia with.
Let’s take advantage of this and showcase our unique flora and fauna.
We can re-train timber workers to maintain our forests, as well as rangers and wildlife officers.
There are happy examples of where this has been achieved with great success!
These jobs would be permanent, rather than the uncertain, casual nature of current practices.
Do let’s be proud of our country and show it off, not tear it down.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be remembered for taking part in protecting this little pocket of paradise!
Making an election decision
LIKE Laurelle Pacey, I too am staggered by the number of candidates contesting the upcoming council election in our shire and, like her, I am sorting through all the names to make a decision on how I will cast my vote.
However, my criteria for selecting those who will receive my vote differ from hers.
Firstly I will sort out all those sitting councillors running again, along with the others running just to get them re-elected, and eliminate them.
We currently have a council in which senior executives seem to make virtually all the decisions, one which is shrouded in secrecy and lacking in accountability while cutting services to the community
It is ignoring the very basic needs of our community to the extent that virtually no new facilities have been provided in recent years in Narooma to assist our ailing tourist industry (witness the closure of the La Salle Motel) or to give our own people a little joy and a return on our ratepayer dollar.
Having reduced the field by half using this process, I will then look for candidates who will go to Moruya to represent us.
Those there now seem to think their job is to represent the views of the council bureaucracy. If that was all we wanted we could simply ask a staff member.
As Ms Pacey says, intelligence, integrity, dignity and negotiating skills are vital and are desperately needed now so that Narooma and the wider shire can get the attention it needs. And a little banging of the drum will certainly not go astray either.
The current crop of councillors have failed us and we need a change.
What happened to café?
THE Oasis Café one of five small businesses in the Dalmeny shopping precinct recently changes hands after eight years of operation.
The new owners, with a lot of hard work have rejuvenated the premises and have brought great coffee and food to this beautiful area not only for the benefit of the tourist but much appreciated but the locals too.
Many residents and patrons from the nearby aged care home also enjoy the sunshine in the outdoor area of the café for many if not all of these years.
Last Saturday, despite the wild weather and expecting to enjoy my morning coffee, paper and the view up the coast, I was dismayed to see the outside seating area removed.
Apparently after eight years of trading, this securely fenced outdoor seating area was deemed so dangerous by the Eurobodalla Shire Council that it ordered the only decent café in Dalmeny to cease utilising its outdoor seating area.
Why… well apparently Council received a complaint “somebody was almost run over” within the small adjacent car park.
Not by a chair or table I hope…
Eurobodalla Shire Council’s action does wonders for the town’s struggling tourist industry let alone the local employment situation.
Could a councillor please explain…