Eden Magnet letters to the editor, September 14

E3 zones on private land 

Bega Valley Shire Council’s general manager Leanne Barnes’ recollection of extensive consultation with the community leading up to the Local Environmental Plan 2013 seems to have been with the community that were not going to be affected by the zoning and not the land owners affected by the changes.  

Council made no mention of the changes to the zoning on rural land when they sent out the rate notices, but when it came to the Farmland Rate Assessment on rural land they had no trouble contacting individual land owners calling on them to justify their farm land status in the wake of the NSW government’s failed fire levy policy.  

Being the owner of 145.6 hectares on six titles that were zoned Rural 1a I have only just became aware that my land is now rezoned with the majority being zoned E3 and the remainder zoned RU2.  

After speaking with other rural land owners it has become clear there are a great number of these land owners unaware their land had been rezoned and more importantly they were unaware of the meaning of this rezoning and the impact it was going to have on their land usage and value.  

I urge all rural land owners in the Bega Valley Shire to contact the council to check their current land zoning and to attend the next public meeting on the BVSC Environment Zones.  Under the new zoning rural land owners might now find themselves owners of a private national park, their land and rights taken by stealth without any notification, justification or compensation. 

It would be a good idea if our local member Andrew Constance could attend the meeting and explain this draconian policy implemented by his government along with the new mapping by the Office of Environment and Heritage on private rural land under the titles Regulated Land, Vulnerable Regulated Land and Sensitive Regulated Land.  

I would also urge Ms Barnes to attend so that she could explain the benefits of applying these zones on private land and also whether the council has notified the Valuer General Department that the value on these properties have been dropped because of the rezoning so that the rates can be lowered in accordance with these new values.

Wayne Doyle, Nethercote 

Where do you stand?

The Sapphire Branch of Country Labor demands to know where Andrew Constance stands on the proposed privatisation of the services currently offered by Service NSW.

These centres currently offer services around the state on: Business Services, Business and Trade, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Education and Training, Emergencies and Safety, Employment and Jobs, Environment and Water, Government, Health and Wellbeing, Housing and Property, Legal and Information and Services, Life Events, Transport, Licences, Registration and Marine.

In our region there are offices in Eden, Bega, Bombala, Cooma and Narooma. 

At present they are a service and not offered on the cost recovery basis, which means that you pay a certain amount and the rest is subsidised by the taxpayer.

The information - your private information - is held by these departments and our government stays responsible for the confidentiality of that information. Private providers can on-sell that data to other commercial entities.

The NSW Coalition government has called for tenders from seven companies for the provision of these services. One of these companies is SERCO, which has had notoriety in its management of detention centres and jails.

The NSW Liberal/National government has done this sneakily by regulation not legislation so there is little transparency and minimal scrutiny of the process.

Our member, Andrew Constance, must explain to us why he intends to sneak these increases onto us without public debate.

Colin McPherson, Tura Beach branch member

ELALC chair BJ Cruse with workers of the Eden Breakwater Wharf Extension project following a welcome to country on Tuesday.

ELALC chair BJ Cruse with workers of the Eden Breakwater Wharf Extension project following a welcome to country on Tuesday.