Eden Letters to the Editor, February 14

Letter writer Sue Horton wonders if consideration has been given to the other benefits of a council-owned Hotel Australasia - such as the large vacant parking space behind.

Letter writer Sue Horton wonders if consideration has been given to the other benefits of a council-owned Hotel Australasia - such as the large vacant parking space behind.

But wait, there's more

What is the similarity between the old Demtel knives advertisements and the heritage  Hotel Australasia building? Both promise the buyer much more than the product for sale and at a very cheap price.

With the knives, the long line of extras concluded with the promise of the set of steak knives; with the Hotel Australasia the buyer gets the vast vacant block of land at the rear of the building.

As the fate of the former Hotel Australasia site draws near one wonders about the smoke and mirror methods used so far to detract attention from the long term opportunities for the site to council. Why has there only been an emphasis on the negative aspects of the building and not a holistic view of the site and its long term benefits to the Bega Valley Shire Council and the Eden community?

Council does buy buildings and one reason is to create necessary parking space, so one could say council, in regards to the purchase of the Hotel Australasia, has actually bought a car/bus park with negligible demolition costs required. With the site subdivided, the building portion could have been dealt with separately, with one option being the development of community space in the heart of Eden.

Time will judge the wisdom of the determination of those who call for the sale of the entire Australasia site to a developer for a rock bottom price after a lengthy and costly process.

Sue Horton, Eden

Flooding concerns

Back in 1988 I looked at land to build a workshop at Government Rd, Eden. The area back then was flood prone as it only had a narrow, shallow water course behind the blocks, between the designated "William St" and the reserve.

I approached BVSC to build a proper water channel, as flooding has been seen right up to Government Rd previously. I was told by the then-shire president that the shire did not have the finances to build a proper channel and suggested I do it myself, and in doing so I would end up with the spare land behind the blocks (part of the designated Williams St). I have a witness to this, in writing, from an ex-councillor.

So I widened and deepened the shallow water course from the highway down, behind all the workshops. I gravelled and compacted the banks, all at my own expense.

Some years ago the highway was lifted to put bigger pipes in because of flooding problems and the channel coped well at the time. I fully expected council to maintain the water channel. Now it is completely overgrown with shrubs and trees.

I'll guarantee with the next flood the channel will block and flood the properties along its path, washing the channel banks away and along with all the debris end up in Lake Curalo, as the water will make its own way as water always does.

Since 2011 I have been asking council to clean out and restore the channel on several occasions. Their answer has been that they can't as it is a natural water course and also that it belongs to the Lands Department and for me to contact them.

How can it be a natural water course after council gave me permission to make it into a water channel - and on land that didn't belong to them if it belongs to the Lands Department? How can council give permission for a workshop to be built on the designated Government Rd if it belongs to the Lands Department?

Surely it is not up to me to contact the department on this issue, as has been suggested by council several times. It should be council's job to communicate and convince the Lands Department to rectify this problem before the flooding disaster happens, as it will damage workshops and properties along Government Rd, washing the debris and sediment into polluting Lake Curalo.

We all know council has been given government finance for flooding problems.

Reidar Herfoss, Eden