Eden Magnet Letters to the Editor, May 18

Pambula Rural Fire Service, Merimbula Fire and Rescue and the Bega Hazmat crew attend a gas leak at the Pambula United Service Station last Friday.
Pambula Rural Fire Service, Merimbula Fire and Rescue and the Bega Hazmat crew attend a gas leak at the Pambula United Service Station last Friday.

Matter of priorities

Eden has had a filthy and neglected, but viable historical icon in the centre of her CBD for nearly a decade. In a town with a historical theme and known for its historical restorations. This is a monument to our town's neglect and a symbol for many, that in Eden, “love don't live here anymore”.

And you want an equestrian centre, Councillor Robyn Bain. Who, pray tell, will pay for its upkeep, maintenance and so on?

Most of Eden's workers have been forced to relocate far and wide. The result of years of constant demonisation by misinformed greenies, seeing our town as the home of the “demon chipmill”. Most of our kids have to leave too. No other towns in your shire can say that.

Eden's dire economy, one of the poorest in Australia, depends on a functioning and attractive CBD. This is no “pet project” of a passionate few, it affects our whole economic survival. We have neither a functioning one nor an attractive one.

Eden's main street has one dunny for men, one for women and one for the disabled. One each and we have another 30,000 cruiseshippers coming. The Australasia has many toilets going to waste. 

Eden Marine High School has had a large stinking cesspool in its backyard since I was there in '75. Lake Curalo has been victim to decades of faulty sewerage/stormwater systems, affecting our beaches and the third naturally deepest harbour in the world. For 40 years our kids have been putting up with it, some even getting sick. Some of our visitors too. We all have a duty of care.

Eden needs a CBD, a clean high school and a clean Lake Curalo. It needs toilets in the main street and it needs its majority of unemployed to be working again.

Let them help fix up our town and sell it to a highly competitive world, properly. I would have thought this desperate situation would have been a priority.

But you want an equestrian centre, Robyn Bain. All of Eden says thank you very much for that.

Brett Ralph, Eden

Councillors respond

Bega Valley Shire Councillors pride ourselves on the differences of opinion in the chamber, that is after all what you get in a democracy.

We have nine councillors elected who represent diverse interests from across the shire and who bring a range of experience and  expertise to our decision making and to that end I believe the views of much of the community are now being heard – perhaps more than ever. As long as debate remains respectful and productive then you are getting what you elected.

As a group we have been through rigorous induction programs, shire tours and background briefings on shire assets and services from each department of council. We have had to work through the budget, delivery plan and resourcing strategy, and this is all within the first eight months of the newly elected council. There is no shortage of council committees, community meetings and events that we each attend on top of the regular council commitments.

We pride ourselves on debate and questions being asked within the council chamber so the public is aware  of the reasoning and questions we have. Is it pretty? Not all the time. Is it fun? Not all the time. But we put our hands up for the job and we are getting on with it.

If you have nine councillors agreeing on everything, no debate and nothing for the public to see then the community could rightly question our processes. If you have no decisions being made and nothing being achieved then quite rightly that “dysfunctional” label may apply because we would have failed in our undertaking to represent the community.

All councillors vote on a combination of perceived merit, our ethics and of course governing for the greater good. I know that all current councillors have the community's best interest at heart. 

Your nine elected councillors


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