Thanks to council, staff
TWO weeks ago, council staff performed an excellent upgrade of Tilba Cemetery Road, and on behalf of Tilba Cemetery Committee I write to express thanks and appreciation to council for the quality and extent of the work.
I particularly want to note the courtesy and responsiveness of the field staff who listened to our request to extend the work from the upper cemetery to the lower cemetery.
Congratulations and thanks are also due to the office staff for taking the initiative to perform this work and, no doubt, authorizing the extension.
I note that a few weeks ago Keith Mundy expressed appreciation for the courtesy of the field staff during the work in Tilba Tilba village. It is nice to be able to offer thanks again.
Tilba Cemetery Committee
Bodalla needs play area
BODALLA doesn’t have a proper playground for children. There was the one behind the community hall that was burnt and if you were a visitor you wouldn’t know it was there.
Why don’t they put one in the park across the road from the police station or one near the public toilets at Potato Point?
Bodalla is the only town on the south coast without a children’s playground.
We have nice cafés to get takeaways from but nowhere we can go and sit and enjoy the food.
I’m getting tired of driving my little girl to another town so she can play in a park: why can’t Bodalla have a park of its own?
ERA, voting, and mandate
I WRITE in response to Robyn Shackleton’s letter and to your editorials and articles in recent weeks dealing with the ERA, the legitimacy of the election result, the mandate of council and the method we’ll adopt to get things done in the next four years.
First, on Ms Shackleton’s main point regarding how the ERA will vote, thousands of our supporters would be surprised and not a little disappointed if we didn’t vote in unison on the issues where we found commonality in the first place and which brought us together under the ERA umbrella to run for office.
We must, however, be aware that in the “Model Code of Conduct” within the Local Government Act, we are forbidden from compelling councillors to vote in a particular manner and as such, we won’t vote arbitrarily on any issue.
Our areas of solid agreement are the need to address the flawed LEP and the lack of transparency of council in its dealings with the community, as well as the need to make it clear that we are now a responsive organisation that is open for business.
We will work to take back control of decision-making from senior staff. Ironically, the lack of councillor control exerted in the last four years was a direct result of the absence of a commonality of purpose within that group.
With regard to the election result, this paper’s editorial writer, the council’s senior bureaucracy and the mayor are still having trouble coming to grips with the message sent on September 8 when the voters elected four ERA councillors out of eight, apart from the new mayor using the words, “need for change” every now and again.
Our first meeting saw the defeated mayor with his hand up first to be off to yet another conference. The need for “networking” and training was mentioned. He’ll never get it.
I strongly believe that there are great advantages to be gained from sharing a similar position with other councillors. We believe that most of the things we will be putting forward will have general support from all or, at least, most of the elected representatives.
I have raised my concerns and hopes for our area of the shire with my fellow ERA councillors and they are sympathetic to our needs.
I have already had some lengthy meetings with senior staff about the issues relating to our community which are dear to me, and we are beginning to establish a good working relationship.
It’s also noteworthy, and I think mayor Lindsay Brown has already observed so publicly, that seven of the nine councillors live south of Moruya.
We might actually need to vote to help the lone representative from Batemans Bay, our own Milton Leslight, if he’s in need and feeling a bit lonely up there.
Clr. Neil Burnside
Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to Dubbo we go; we work all day, we never play, heigh ho, heigh ho. Pam Frost set this jolly tune ringing with her report, "Six off to council conference" (Bay Post/Moruya Examiner September 28).
Carried away by the excited scramble to attend the local government conference in Dubbo next month, the former mayor cautioned newbie councillors that "the forum could get aggressive and could be scary". Wow!
Three delegates, the meeting was told, are “required" to attend. Nobody explained who made that dubious decision, what issues our delegates will advance on behalf of Eurobodalla at the conference, or what difference it would make if they did. The agenda for the conference remains unclear and key speakers are not yet confirmed.
Local Government Association back-slapping talkfests have been discredited. The mayor of Mosman reported after last year's conference that "the first day was wasted on guest speakers while for the next day and a half motions lapsed because there was no quorum. They were outside having coffee and chatting instead of being in the chamber to vote" (Daily Telegraph November 5, 2011). Similar reports have followed previous conferences.
Our former mayor's reports to council after past conferences contained less insight than was available from newspapers. If the interests of Eurobodalla ratepayers were advanced, they remain secret.
Vague benefits and learning opportunities were mentioned while Councillors were assured that we ratepayers will swallow the costs, starting with $1150 per person for registration, plus transport, accommodation, meals and incidentals.
When, please tell me, will our elected representatives make the cost-benefit for ratepayers the first consideration in council's decisions?
Whither carbon dioxide emissions?
THE 1992 Kyoto protocol agreement to cut carbon dioxide emissions expires on December 31 this year.
An extension is one of those “in your dreams” things, as is the curbing of CO2 emissions.
Put simply, this is because the realities of sustaining life by affordable means in the real time circumstances existing in China, India and undeveloped countries, will be through the use of the carbon-based fuels which have given us, as John Christy has explained, “longer lives, better health, prosperity, technological progress, adequate food supplies, internet services, freedom of movement, protection from environmental threats and so on”.
Despite the contrary aims of “clean energy/carbon tax”, there is no other way.
To this situation, add that Germany, the pioneer in promoting renewable wind/solar manufacture and use, is now building 23 large coal-fired power stations because the costs and unreliability of wind/solar are too great.
And, that the G8 meeting of world leaders called by president Obama in May this year issued its final communique supporting “comprehensive actions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants”. These include the real pollutant black carbon (soot).
This recognises that straight forward measures to address soot would delay dangerous global warming for decades, and can be dealt with through existing national laws and regulations using technologies already available in their countries.
But locally, the one-eyed authors of council’s adopted Greenhouse Action Plan 2012-2017 (GAP) are immune to such considerations. They prepared their GAP on the alarmist Stern Review of January 2007 which generated great panic over increasing CO2 emissions.
When published, the Stern Review was ridiculed by academic scientists and economists, although not by politicians and the popular media. It is now totally debunked, its extensive flaws and bias exposed.
But, GAP stands in opposition to what is happening in China, India and undeveloped countries.
So, where to from here?
ERA and bloc voting
GOOD to see that the recent Council election is still generating passionate commentary.
Among them I note the preposterous proposition that the newly elected ERA councillors should not vote in a bloc.
Having gone to the election with a detailed agenda, the implementation of which requires a united front, it would be a travesty if they wasted the clear mandate they received by voting differently on the fundamental issues facing the shire.
One would particularly expect that any decision benefiting part of the shire which would have “serious and adverse consequences for other communities” would be rejected outright and “in bloc”.
The same should apply to such outrageous past choices as the infamous “special bonus” payment to a former general manager, the “per child fee” imposed on sports Clubs for the use of the shire’s sporting facilities, or the careless waste of public money on toxic investments.
Regarding any effect of the ballot position on the mayoral election results, let me quote a local ratepayer: “Only time will tell whether the donkey vote has delivered a mare, a mule or an ass”.
IN last week’s Narooma News we printed a letter from Doris Robinson of Dalmeny about pedestrian safety on the Narooma-Dalmeny cycleway.
In her last paragraph Doris applauded the efforts of those who had “fundraised” to build the path. The sub-editor who worked on that page – a stickler for traditional English – changed that to “raised funds”. But no-one is perfect, and our sub-editor managed to make it “raided” funds rather than “raised” funds.
We do apologise to Doris and, like her, appreciate the efforts of those who made the cycleway possible.
ON behalf of the householders without water on the evening of Tuesday, September 25, I want to pay tribute to the unsung heroes of the night.
Knee-deep in water at the bottom of a huge hole, with aching backs and wet boots, the Narooma Water Construction Crew worked late into the night to reconnect water to more than 20 homes in Narooma.
The crew had been working at a site near the water tower trying to locate a leaky water main. Once the offending pipe was discovered, the removal of metres of dirt and the consequent lessening of pressure caused the cracked pipe to break and spew huge amounts of water down the hill and onto the oval.
Despite long hours, discomfort and fatigue, these guys continued to work until the pipe was repaired and the water supply restored.
Well done lads and thank you from the residents!
No fluoridation plea
CONGRATULATIONS and welcome as our new representatives. Much hope is riding on each of you to help create and facilitate a truly open, honouring relationship among the three communities that make up our shire.
A way of relating with us that engenders the "good of all" as its index of achievement, rather than the creed of economic rationalism, is needed. If people are happy, respected, included and trusted, good energy will flow.
No doubt you will be addressing some of the issues that really caused great upset in all the communities during the past couple of years.
A huge one is the addition of fluoride to our drinking water. The people had said No, the council had said No, at their decision meeting on the Tuesday. Then on Friday we are told "one of the councillors has changed his vote now so the Fluoridation of our water will take place”.
A ripple of feeling "betrayed" and "manipulated" went through the whole shire.
Australia is one of the few countries still saying Yes to fluoride. Parts of Queensland have refused to have their water fluoridated because of mounting concerns about its safety. Nearly every European country has rejected it or banned it, as have China and Japan. Even UNICEF is now questioning its value as against the damage it does.
A leading dentist in Canada Dr Limebach originally promoted fluoride. Ten years ago he apologised publicly and has been working to have it removed - which it has been in much of Canada. I urge anyone who hasn't read the toxicology reports to at least check them out, they're readily available on the web.
To know we are paying millions of dollars to have this waste product dumped into our precious water supplies is appalling. We're all being mass medicated. As for pregnant or nursing mothers, how many of them know they shouldn't be drinking tap water or using it to mix up the babies formula?
So many councillors were in the Rate Payers' Association and spoke out strongly on many issues that the community saw as unjust. Are you going to be able to redress these as well?
There's a lot of trust and hope in your integrity, commitment and energy for the good of the whole shire rather than provoking rivalry between the communities.
We need to do it differently; really work together in these truly critical times demanding of our integrity, honour and creativity.
Huntfest not wanted
AS a resident of this shire for over 40 years, I have witnessed with great sadness, the encroaching degradation by humans of this beautiful environment, with inappropriate tree felling and poisoning by council, burning and land clearing.
Logging for woodchip (and its ensuing habitat depletion) is currently rife - always out of sight, with seemingly, no restraints, and nothing said.
Every day of every week, logging trucks are prolific on our roads, with precious trees that once comprised a forest headed for pulping in Eden.
When it comes to protecting the environment, Eurobodalla Shire Council does not have a good record. Nevertheless, with new councillors this record may hopefully be reversed.
To start with, they could vote against the proposed Huntfest to be held in Narooma next June (and annually thereafter) which seeks to promote blood sport and gun culture.
If approved, this would make a mockery of our Shire and its natural, pristine beauty which draws nature lovers to the area.
It is bad enough having to worry about one’s safety with gunslingers in state forests and national parks, without giving them the added green light to converge in even larger numbers in this area every year. The majority don’t want a Huntfest and councillors must strongly reflect this fact when they vote.
ON behalf of the members of Quota International of Narooma, thanks to all those who supported our fashion parade on September 22. We had an excellent turnout and were able to raise substantial funds for our international projects.
The staff at Club Narooma were extremely helpful, not only in providing the function room, but a “creative” space for the models to change. Nibblez supplied an elegant afternoon tea and Barry Mead — the only male in the crowd — did a brilliant job as MC.
We had excellent support from Pam Morland, manager of our local Millers. She provided pre-printed flyers, vouchers for raffle prizes and gave every guest who attended the show 30 per cent off any items purchased the following Monday.
Sharon Dalgleish, a local Avon representative, arrived with a donation of two lovely raffle prizes: such a welcome surprise. And we appreciated having Janette Griffith’s granddaughter Jade take pictures for us.
A huge thank you goes out to those who modelled the clothes: Gilly Kearney, June Hemmingsen, Barbara Nancarrow, Carol Mead and Molly Worrall. We particularly appreciated Molly’s flair for the dramatic!
Of course we could not have done it without the support of the Quota girls who worked at the event—especially Maureen Young and Angela Hansen, who organized it. Thank you to all.
Susan Pryke, President
Quota International of Narooma Inc.