Curious letter reply
I REFER to the curious letter (NN 17/10) from David Kelly in which he questioned the entitlement of the Federal Member, Dr Mike Kelly, to instigate a petition against the O'Farrell Government ripping $1.7 billion out of our State's education system.
I, like many people, am delighted that Dr Kelly and the Federal Government are taking a stand for what is most important – the education and upskilling of our children.
Although it is true that the actual delivery of education in Australia is the role of the various State and Territory Governments, the Federal Government has always played a major role in the funding and policy development of education across this nation.
Two prominent recent examples of this are the $16 billion Building the Education Revolution (BER) program and the Gonski Report into the future funding of education in Australia.
It is entirely appropriate therefore for Mike Kelly, as our representative in the Australian Parliament, to do his bit to protect the Eden-Monaro community from the State government's detrimental education policies.
David's letter also contained an interesting conspiracy theory about the federal member trying to “masquerade as a state member” through, amongst other things, providing only his Queanbeyan office as the contact address for his 'education cuts' flyer!
Without necessarily wanting to dampen the excitement and entertainment that is provided by yet another such theory, I am forced to point out the sobering reality that his Queanbeyan electorate office has always been given as the contact address for Dr Kelly's on electorate matters – as was generally the situation with the former Liberal federal member, Gary Nairn and probably all of their predecessors.
Spread pay increase
THUMB'S up to the proposed pay rise of $7/hour for professional child care workers!
It is in my opinion appropriate to be paid a wage, befitting the provision of a service, which is of high professional standard, necessary to care for the very young and therefor vulnerable.
So it would then be obvious that nurses and other health care workers be given the same consideration, as we also provide a service of high professional standard and most certainly provide care to vulnerable members of our communities, who are of all age groups, with their individual health impairments, be they physical/cognitive or indeed both.
Recognition and subsequent pay increase for us is something I hope most people agree to be well overdue.
Professions where one is directly responsible for the care and well-being of people’s lives, governed by stringent policies and procedures as well as by law, need to be appropriately addressed in the current wage index.
Mayor’s column – Lindsay’s initial thoughts
I WRITE my first mayor’s column after a busy and productive week.
With my fellow councillors, briefings began at last Tuesday’s ordinary meeting of council at 8.30am, and formally finished the meeting after 5pm.
The gallery was full for most of the morning and we welcomed 12 members of the community who spoke at the public forum.
During the day we had robust and informative discussions on event applications, development applications, planning proposals, budget and finances, applications for licences, tenders, conferences and polices. It was long, hard day but a lot was achieved.
Last week the general manager Paul Anderson and I had a lengthy and positive meeting with the Member for Eden-Monaro, Dr Mike Kelly MP.
For two hours we discussed the future for tourism and economic development in Eurobodalla and the avenues for federal funding from bodies such as Regional Development Australia.
Dr Kelly was interested and supportive of the planned development at council’s Hanging Rock Sporting Precinct and the possibility that it might one day be able to attract AFL games, and in future plans for Moruya Airport.
We talked about transport and roads, and making Eurobodalla accessible for b double trucks to help reduce costs of freight and cost of living for our residents, industry and businesses.
I attended the South East Regional Organisation of Councils meeting in Young on October 12 and used the opportunity to talk with the NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson MP about the role that catchment management authorities play in local land use management and, in particular, how this impacts council’s infrastructure and economic growth in Eurobodalla.
The community consultation process for the review of the Eurobodalla 2030 community strategic plan is underway and I hope some of you have met with council staff and councillors at various local events and markets, or had your say on the new online forum on council’s website.
This really is your chance to have your say about Eurobodalla’s future, tell us what you want to see and join the discussion about how we are going to get there.
I urge you to get involved when you read about a council plan on exhibition, or a project we are asking for comment on, because when you let us know your thoughts, your councillors can make decisions that reflect your views.
I’m writing this on Sunday morning and will soon leave for Dubbo and the annual NSW local Government Association Conference where more than 600 delegates will represent the issues and concerns of communities throughout NSW.
I’ll update you on the conference next week.
Please let me know if there is any issue you feel council may be able to help you with. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone me on 0418 279 215.
Clr Lindsay Brown
Mayor of Eurobodalla Shire
Fence the skate park
I NOTE in the Narooma News on (Oct. 24) that the upcoming SK8 and Skooter exhibition on November 3, run by our council, will have demonstrations.
Who will be demonstrating the following:
- putting rubbish in the bin
- the effects of rubbish on our marine environment and wildlife
-how long it takes for mangroves to regenerate when branches are broken off (branches used to build 'cubbies' in mangroves)’
-how not to light fires and explode “bungers”
-show how broken glass all over the footpath is a danger to those using the path
-measuring how far the foul language travels when shouted out all day. -highlighting the signage indicating an “Alcohol free zone”
- the correct place to go to the toilet - oh, that's right, there are no toilets
I would appreciate one of our councillors confirming or denying there is a further $150,000 allocated to extend the skate park.
If this is correct, then the money would be best spent building a very tall, non-see-through fence all the way around the skate park.
If there is no money allocated, a fence should be built anyway.
A fence would have some hope of protecting our community members and tourists to the town from the visual and auditory pollution that the skate park so obviously represents.
I acknowledge that it is a minority of the users of the skate park who are ruining it for everyone, but this minority sure knows how to make a mess.
Forever and Ever
By John Petherbridge
When I am gone they will still be here.
The familiar things; the view from my balcony
where I work and read,the rim of trees
that skirt the lake, sea eagles soaring above.
When I am gone they will still be here;
weathering the torpid heat heat, the withering winds.
Nothing can go away because the moon won't die,
the stars will ever glitter, and rain will fall.
When I am gone they will still be here;
all will be the same, apart from my absence
I need to focus on this and other images shrouding my soul,
so that when I am gone , we will be as one,
always together, forever and ever…
HuntFest not welcome
THE decision to permit the holding of HuntFest in Narooma by seven of our so called community leaders at the Eurobodalla Council on Tuesday was pathetic, gutless and defied the wishes of the majority of the community present in the public gallery at the Council meeting.
Sure the event application met council's criteria, but what of the wider implications for our community?
I'm sure HuntFest will be a professionally run event and will invite professional shooters to our area - many of these have written letters of support to the Narooma News.
However what it also does is give a green light to any yobbo with a gun to come into our community and run amuck.
We saw this a few months ago when the O'Farrell government did the deal with the Shooters Party to permit shooting in National Parks and almost immediately heard of incidents of shooters roaming camping grounds shooting kangaroos in front of horrified family campers.
I wonder what plans the HuntFest organisers have to manage these renegade shooters coming to Narooma, or will they just shrug their shoulders like their Shooters Party masters and say: “Council approved the event. It's not our responsibility”?
A few thoughts for Narooma people
OPERATING a business over winter months is always a struggle in Narooma.
Two automotive businesses I know were struggling over the last school holidays, while the De La Salle Motel has now closed down.
How many businesses have you noticed closed down in recent years due to lack of employed local population to sustain them during winter?
Young people have little scope to put into practice their newly learned skills, and face the choice of leaving the area to earn a living or sit on the dole.
Think of this – the writing is on the wall, social security as we know it will dramatically change, permanent cash benefits paid to young and old will fall into line with other countries.
Look at the USA, some six weeks I believe and unemployed cash benefits stop.
Is that not incentive enough to be looking to and planning for the future survival of our area – now?
I don’t mean by this that we take the path of the QLD Gold Coast with their crazy high rise developments either.
HuntFest is not just about hunting, it’s a photo and video competition too with various categories such as feral animal trophy, wildlife and educational, and includes a junior and senior class.
Also to be featured are wild gourmet food stalls involving local and out of town businesses.
This “no cost to the ratepayers” state-wide promotion of Narooma along with the numbers of stay in town visitors wanting meals, golf, sightseeing etc over the long weekend each year is much needed.
It’s a time of the year when employment in Narooma is lowest and businesses are in survival mode. Will this not be important to the people and employers of Narooma and surrounding districts?
In 2011 Game Council licenced hunters have shot in excess of 700,000 feral animals – rabbit, fox, wild dog, wild cat, pig and deer at no cost to tax payers.
National Parks have trapped and poisoned 24,000 feral animals at a cost of $20 million to taxpayers, remembering also 1080 rabbit poison can have a half-life up to 25 years in the environment, taking out goannas and other native animals.
This is what I think HuntFest organisers wish to celebrate on the Queen’s birthday long weekend, while the economic injection into the Narooma community would be very welcome.