The Bega Valley Shire Residents and Ratepayers Association (BVSRRA) notes the comments of the Mayor, Cr Kristy McBain, regarding reports currently circulating in the community claiming that two councillors have been found to have breached the Bega Valley Shire Council’s (BVSC) code of conduct.
The alleged breaches are said to relate to the non-disclosure of conflicts of interest in respect of matters before council.
Cr McBain indicated that a report may be coming to council on the matters in the near future.
The BVSRRA has previously voiced strong criticisms of the management of code of conduct matters by council and is therefore naturally concerned as to how the current, relatively new council will respond to this situation.
The BVSRRA believes that it is important for the community to be aware that breaches of council’s code of conduct by councillors must be formally reported to council and the reports detailing the investigations into the breaches must also be tabled for consideration.
The BVSRRA also thinks that it is important for the community to be aware that it is potentially open to the elected council to deal with code of conduct complaints in “closed session”, thereby avoiding public disclosure of details of the alleged breaches and more importantly, concealing the identity of the councillors who have allegedly committed those breaches.
Unfortunately, with one spectacular recent exception, BVSC has on occasion seen fit to review such matters “in camera”, thereby denying the community the opportunity of being made aware of councillors’ unacceptable behaviour while, at the same time, potentially tainting the reputation of the entire council.
The BVSRRA believes that it is imperative that councillors understand that any failure to insist on full disclosure in these matters will certainly give rise to a loss of confidence in them on the part of the community.
John Richardson, BVSRRA
A beautiful program
Alexandra Seddon, Bega Valley local and founder of Potoroo Palace and Cows Nest, was featured on ABC’s Compass program on Saturday, May 6.
This beautifully composed show entitled Being Change, gave the history of how Alexandra helped change the fate of people in need, our native forests, wetlands and native animals in the Bega Valley for the better.
Alexandra’s courage, kindness and hard work have helped improve her part of the world forever. She is truly inspirational and shows how one person can make a difference. For those who missed this segment, it can be watched on ABC iView.
Lois Katz, Tathra
Power of good
World Red Cross Day (May 8) coincides with the start of National Volunteer Week and so we’re using this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who make our society stronger.
It might be by donating blood, reaching out to an older person who lives alone, or spending a day of their week helping run a Red Cross shop.
It particularly comes to light during a crisis. I’ve been overwhelmed by how willing people have been to give their time to help people whose lives were turned upside-down by Cyclone Debbie.
Thankfully, it is not just during a disaster when we see the best come out in people. Every day around the country people carry out acts of kindness, creating a place where we feel supported and included. Their actions bring us closer together and make us feel more positive about our lives.
This week, as we celebrate volunteers and the worldwide Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, let’s all make the effort to help someone who needs it. Together we can dramatically boost the power of good.