Letters to the editor

ENDORSED: Councillor Maureen Nathan says Eurobodalla Shire Council general manager Catherine Dale, pictured, is doing a good job.
ENDORSED: Councillor Maureen Nathan says Eurobodalla Shire Council general manager Catherine Dale, pictured, is doing a good job.

Flying disappointment 

I am in Merimbula at the airport where Rex has just cancelled two flights; one to Melbourne and the other to Sydney.

To describe the passengers as irate is an understatement.

We waited an hour and a half for any kind of announcement. No apology, not even an offer of a coffee or water while waiting.

Rex really need to lift their game, both in the air and on the ground in terms of customer care.

Not happy.

Catherine Boomer, Narooma

Strong showing

There has been speculation and misinformation around the achievements of Eurobodalla Shire council’s General Manager, Dr Catherine Dale, and the process by which her contract was renewed.

Some months ago, several councillors and I researched the process around the review and contract, and the conditions surrounding it. Clause 5 of the Standard Contract of Employment for a general manager of local councils in NSW had to be considered. A general manager must notify councillors whether a renewal is sought a minimum of nine months before the contract is due to expire. We carefully reviewed information provided by the Office of Local Government and the Local Government Act on how a general manager contract is managed.

Councillors voted that the review, undertaken against an agreed set of key performance indicators, would be conducted by all councillors, with an independent facilitator. Previously, the committee had comprised three councillors. Councillors selected the facilitator from a list of four.

We attended an induction day, followed by a day when we conducted the review. Prior to that weekend, I requested and reviewed the council’s Delivery and Operational Plans, as logic dictated that if these had been delivered, then the key performance indicators had been met.

There were more than 50 indicators set by the previous council. Each councillor had to score each indicator, and hand the non-disclosed results to the facilitator, who then created the average for each indicator, which was presented to all councillors.

The facilitator stated he had never seen consistent high scores of this nature, and an average global key performance indicator that high. In other words Dr Dale delivered an outstanding result.

Maureen Nathan

Eurobodalla Shire Councillor

Biosecurity is important

Minimising and ultimately preventing risks from animal and plant pests, diseases, weeds and contaminants is crucial to the health and wellbeing of our economy, environment and communities.

To help us more effectively manage biosecurity risks in NSW, we have a new NSW Biosecurity Act commencing on 1 July 2017.

A key principle of the Act is that biosecurity is a shared responsibility involving government, industry and community.

Whether you live in a regional area or a large city, have a small farm or backyard garden, participate in bushwalking, or enjoy recreational fishing, everyone can play a part in managing our biosecurity.

The new framework provides greater flexibility in managing risks, including new powers to allow faster response times in an emergency, such as during a disease outbreak.

The Department of Primary Industries is hosting a series of information meetings with key stakeholders across the State to explain the impact of the changes.

You can find an online training program and advisory material at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity.

The NSW Government is committed to safeguarding our $14 billion primary industries sector, protecting our environment and ensuring our State’s reputation for safe, disease-free food and fibre.

The Hon Niall Blair MLC

Minister for Primary Industries  

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