Bring on local polls: Letters to the editor

'ABE puts council on notice'

A new voice for open and inclusive government - A Better Eurobodalla (ABE) - has stepped up to improve regional decisions, ensuring they represent the interests of residents, businesses and visitors.

ABE has identified "hot-button" issues and has put the Shire Council on notice that it will pursue answers to concerns and lobby for better outcomes.

The lease of Bateman's Bay Community Centre was one of the first concerns and ABE made detailed presentations to the council at its November and December meetings in support of continuing the current arrangements. Unfortunately, the council decided (6 votes to 3) to lease out the centre from July 2021 with no guarantees community groups will maintain their level of access.

This is an example of the council being unwilling to listen to the wide range of interests who asked the council to prioritise well-being and recovery and actively support community groups and services.

The community needs all the assistance, support and cooperation it can get ... it is a time for giving, not taking away.

With the council election shifted to September 2021, ABE wants to ensure out-of-town ratepayers know they are entitled to one vote per property.

Our councillors make vital decisions about planning and managing in the challenging years ahead so it is vital everyone votes.

Non-resident electoral rolls are prepared by the council and will close on Monday, July 26, 2021. Non-residents must register to vote. For more information see the ABE website (https://abettereurobodalla.org/).

ABE will ask all candidates about their commitment to open communication with residents, transparent financial management and planning for a long-term, sustainable future.

We want to understand how government operates locally and how residents can improve decision making.

The aim is better, fairer and more sustainable outcomes for residents, visitors and businesses.

ABE expects that before governments, at any level, make decisions that will impact their communities, they will undertake broad and meaningful consultation, listen to and share expert advice, and proceed using a transparent decision-making process so the community understands who makes decisions, when and why.

ABE has approached the council on its emergency preparedness and evacuation centres, the re-opening of its services post-COVID, and the need for a climate adaptation plan.

The council will hear more from ABE on recent zoning changes and potential impacts for bushfires. ABE joins a groundswell of groups around Australia to stand up for communities and inform voting.

Bernie O'Neil

A Better Eurobodalla representative

'Elections can't come soon enough'

Regarding "ABE puts council on notice" (Narooma News online, January 6): I hope that ABE is successful in its attempt to achieve better governance in the way our council operates.

We certainly need it, both in relation to the majority of the elected representatives as well as senior council staff.

The local government elections can't come soon enough.

D Stevenson

(Via our website)

HURRY UP: A reader wants local government elections, delayed early in 2019 due to COVID-19 fears, held sooner rather than later.

HURRY UP: A reader wants local government elections, delayed early in 2019 due to COVID-19 fears, held sooner rather than later.

OVER 50? Make new friends in U3A

UNIVERSITY OF FRIENDSHIP: U3A is a great way to make friends as this photo of a previous enrolment day shows. COVID-safe enrolments open January 21.

UNIVERSITY OF FRIENDSHIP: U3A is a great way to make friends as this photo of a previous enrolment day shows. COVID-safe enrolments open January 21.

U3A Batemans Bay has been providing courses and social activities for the over 50s in the Eurobodalla Shire for more than 20 years. It is a unique organization in that every person involved, including the committee and tutors, is a volunteer.

Tutors are members who offer their time, knowledge and interests to others.

A variety of activities are offered which are held at different venues throughout the shire. Some of the many activities enjoyed by U3A participants are classified under the broad headings of arts and crafts, languages, history and culture, physical activities, literary activities (including book groups), recreational activities, science and general interest.

Joining U3A is a great way of meeting people. As one member says: "Moving 10 years ago to the Bay from Sydney, we did not know anyone in the area. Joining U3A gave us the opportunity to meet other people with similar interests. We now have a great circle of local friends."

In previous years, registration day was one of the highlights of the year. Members would meet each other, talk to the tutors and enrol in the activities offered.

Visit the U3A website to learn more about this interesting group.

Visit the U3A website to learn more about this interesting group.

Batemans Bay U3A has a Covid-19 policy. Registration is therefore now online at bbay.u3anet.org.au.

Application for membership is now open. The cost for new members for a year is $40. Renewing membership, for this year only, is $30.

Most courses are free of charge, with the exception of incidentals such as materials used in the course. Some activities ask for a voluntary gold coin donation.

Enrolment in the courses are accepted from Thursday, January 21.

As well as online, new members may also join and enrol in classes on Thursday, January 21, from 9.30-11.30 am at the Community Centre, Museum Place, Batemans Bay. Existing members can only renew and enrol online, except for those members who do not have internet.

All face-to-face courses will adhere strictly to Covid-19 safe practices.

Otherwise courses will be held on-line.

Due to the Covid-19 safe practices, course participation numbers are limited and early enrolment is advised. If a course is fully booked, members will be placed on a waiting list.

New tutors are always welcome. Do you have a skill, knowledge or specific interest you might want to share?

Please contact coordinator2@bbay.u3anet.org.au

For all information about Batemans Bay U3A go to the website: bbay.u3anet.org.au or call 82505262 and leave a message.

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