Letters to the editor

Pambula's Royal Willows 

It would be amazing if the new supermarket in Pambula could keep the outer shell and frontage facade for heritage purposes. The Main Street would still look lovely and It would be an incredible shame to bulldoze a building that old. We don't have that many left! We need to keep some heritage.

Sophie Rodda, Pambula

Voting against supermarket build

I would like to register my vote against this submission. I arrived 6 years ago to Pambula and have observed a beautiful village emerging with restauration of old houses promoting a feeling of wellbeing and pride . We need to conserve and beautify this village rather than disfigure it with this proposal. I am sure somewhere a good architect could design something blending the traditional character while incorporating new features. we love our village to keep his organic form not modern/straight line ugly Americanised frontage.... please reconsider and come up with better plans . best for the future .Why not offering it to the talented community we are to create an original building which we will be all proud of?

Patricia Chai, Pambula

Royal Willows DA

I welcome the extension of the acceptance period for submissions to be made on the Royal Willows' redevelopment proposal. But a few observations must be made.

It remains hard if not impossible for many residents to view the DA details provided on council's website. Efforts on my own computer browser failed, until on advice, I installed a second browser. Given COVID restrictions, easy online access is critical.

Further, the last Census showed that 36.3 per cent of Pambula's population was over 60 years of age, compared with 21.8 per cent for the state as a whole.

I am in this older age bracket. Most of us have lived here a long time, paid our rates and are vitally interested in the town's future. Yet we are the age group least familiar with new online technologies. We deserve more user-friendly information sources from our council.

The Royal Willows proposal was always going to be contentious. The demolition of one of our earliest hotels challenges our heritage values and efforts made over many years to preserve and protect our village identity. It also defies parts of our council's Development Control Plan 2013 (December 2020) and Local Strategic Planning Statement 2040. Clearly a well ordered and transparent meeting, run by council was needed. This would have allowed the community to openly learn about the proposal from the applicants, their consultants, council planners and heritage specialists. The issue is of great importance to us.

In the absence of such an open process the initiatives taken by the local business community were very welcome. But the opportunity to meet with the applicants was limited to the chamber's members. I don't believe council planners were present.

I would have loved an opportunity to have asked a question about the scale.

We are nowhere near that size, so why is the retail area proposed for Pambula almost the same?

John Liston, Pambula

Chipmill DA approval re-instated

Here we go again! Bega Valley Council is held up by political groups pushing their own agenda! No wonder our rates are some of the highest in the country! As a ratepayer I'm fed up with ongoing ... constant disruption. Council business...is seen as a political opportunity. I would expect council should be focused on allowing their competent Engineering team to do what's necessary...get the job done. Who has been paying for long holdups and this latest recall of full Council? People are desperate for buildings in the Bega Valley and in this case...employment!

Gayl Cox, Eden

Timber prices

I note on page three of the September 15, Merimbula News Weekly that the local Greens opposed the DA for the Timber Hub in Eden. On page four of the same paper there is a story about how the shortages and rising prices of building products are driving up house prices.The local timber industry is a major supplier for builders in the Bega Valley. It seems strange that a group who advocate for low cost housing for low income families should also promote policies that would push local building costs higher.

Dr Rob Bain, Merimbula

Outfall EIS ignored evidence

Agree with you Mick on your letter re the impacts of the proposed Deep Ocean Outfall. SWAMP - Sustainable Water Actions for Merimbula and Pambula presented, in December 2020, to the EPA and BVSC two local farmers who are capable of taking all the treated effluent that the Merimbula STP produces each year.

Two agricultural consultants also provided data on the benefits of such with some very impressive figures. The EPA and BVSC representatives agreed to further discussion with these farmers. Given that our council boasts their dedication to circular economy principles, why then is there no mention of these farmers who would be instrumental in keeping this valuable resource in the loop and also benefiting the community much like the REMS scheme in Shoalhaven.

Instead, our council plans to spend over $40m to throw away a perfectly good resource with which to mitigate drought, irrigate farms, add moisture to our drying bushland and possibly start a new industry in our community through irrigating crops such as industrial hemp.

Marianne Kambouridis, SWAMP