Job cuts create delays
Andrew Constance is quick to blame everyone else but himself when it comes to delays to the Eden wharf (Eden Magnet, 7/6)
What Mr Constance does not reveal is that the Crown Lands Department suffered extensive job cuts – coinciding with the time he was Finance Minister and Treasurer.
Ripping money out of agencies and slashing jobs will inevitably create delays to projects – as sure as night follows day.
Perhaps the voters will put a rocket up Andrew Constance when the next election comes around.
Mick Veitch MLC, Shadow Minister for Lands
Rain rain, go away, come back another day. Unfortunately nursery rhymes offer little comfort in the age of climate change.
The planet is warming (that’s official), and we are experiencing more rain when natural systems configure a rain-making pattern. That’s because a warmer atmosphere holds more water (that’s physics).
So when it rains, it rains with more intensity and for longer.
Heavy rain is now more frequent than under the stable climate we once had.
Globally, the observed number of record-breaking rain events from 1980-2010 was 12 per cent higher than would be expected in a world without global warming.
The risk of flooding is increasing. Floods are the main weather event that forces people to leave their homes - an average of 22.5million people per year from 2008-2014. This number will double if we do not limit global warming to +2°C.
A recent Senate cross-party committee report concluded that climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
That’s the reality. No debate, no ifs and buts. Climate change is real and in the absence of any effective action by governments we have to learn to live with it and adapt.
Harry Creamer, Port Macquarie
Abuse of process
The Bega Valley Shire Residents and Ratepayers Association (BVSRRA) notes that at last Wednesday’s council meeting, Cr Robyn Bain spoke to the independent reviewer’s finding that she had breached council’s Code of Conduct in respect of the Cattle Bay Marina development, by not having declared a non-pecuniary conflict of interest in the matter, and council’s acceptance of those findings, before apologising.
While the decision by Cr Bain was obviously a matter for her, the BVSRRA believes that the process that led to her decision and the decision in respect of the code of conduct complaint made against Cr Fitzpatrick may have been tainted in a number of serious ways, reflecting its flawed nature and the fact it is open to abuse.
The BVSRRA understands that in determining how they should respond to the findings and recommendations made by the independent reviewer in the case of Cr Bain and Cr Fitzpatrick’s code of conduct complaints, councillors were not provided with copies of the final investigation reports, but rather were only provided with a ‘summary’ of the reports prepared by unnamed council officials.
The BVSRRA not only believes that this amounts to a serious abuse of process but that it clearly denied councillors a critical opportunity to assess the matters for themselves, not an interpretation of those reports.
Further, in the case of Cr Fitzpatrick, councillors resolved not to accept the recommendations, however they failed to include the reasons for their decision in their resolution on the matter as is also required under the Procedures for the Administration of the Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils in NSW (see clause 8.59).
Without intending any disrespect to the councillors, the BVSRRA is appalled that they appear to have been placed in a position where they were being asked to stand in judgement on the behaviour of their colleagues, while being denied the opportunity to be fully and properly informed.
John Richardson, BVSRRA