Letters to the editor

Memorial: Danny Ferrara and Shirley Rixon at the tree planting ceremony dedicated to the late Dr Mark Sands at Ford Park on Sunday, August 14, 2016.
Memorial: Danny Ferrara and Shirley Rixon at the tree planting ceremony dedicated to the late Dr Mark Sands at Ford Park on Sunday, August 14, 2016.

To the town of Merimbula

As parents and brother of the late Dr Mark Sands we would like to thank Shirley Rixon and everybody else who contributed to creating the wonderful memorial to our son.

It is a year since it's creation and we saw it for the first time this June. This was our first visit to Australia since Mark was found dead in December 2015. Although a sad pilgrimage seeing the memorial lifted our spirits and made us so proud. As a living legacy to Mark's short but useful life we invited friends to Plant trees in his memory. Merimbula took this suggestion a whole step further! What an amazing town with such a caring community. Thank you.

Ralph and Shirley Sands, parents of the late Mark Sands of Sapphire Clinic Merimbula

Thank you Turf Club 

On behalf of OzHarvest Sapphire Coast I would like to publicly thank Jess Ryan and the Sapphire Coast Turf Club for organising a food collection as part of their Christmas in July/Eden Cup events.

Over 110kg of delicious food was donated at the seventeen collection points in Eden, Pambula, Merimbula and Bega. The generosity of donors, of businesses willing to be collection points, and of the Sapphire Coast Turf Club will make a difference to many people in the Bega Valley. We will be delivering this food to a number of charities, including the Salvation Army, Women’s Refuge, and the St George Uniting Church Eden for people in need. Donating a can of food or two might seem like a small thing for one person to do, but multiply that donation by many people taking part and you have a “can do” movement, helping people in need.

Once again, thank you to the Sapphire Coast Turf Club, Sprout Eden, e2biPhonerepairs, Eden IGA, Pambula Post Office, Bendigo Bank Pambula Branch, Merimbula News Weekly Office, Merimbula Health and Fitness, Merimbula NAB, Goodyear Tyres Merimbula, Tathra Beachside, Bega PowerFM office, Bega Coles and most importantly, the donors.

If any of your readers would like to organise a can/non perishable food drive for OzHarvest Sapphire Coast, please feel free to call me on 0438 407 364.

Christine Welsh, OzHarvest Sapphire Coast

So much for due diligence

In November 2015 Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) announced the sale of two parcels of council owned land in Main Street, Merimbula, including the site of the old library and squash courts. 

In May 2016, BVSC executed an option deed in favour of Romfam Investments granting Romfam an exclusive 12 month option, to allow Romfam to undertake necessary due diligence prior to purchase.

In April 2017, an email was sent to council formally requesting a six month extension to the option deed.

What is unusual about this request is that it also confirmed that Romfam was committed to purchasing the sites but wanted the extension so that it could “move towards obtaining the DA”.

We have a potential purchaser of the sites, having been granted a 12 month exclusive option so it could complete its due diligence and having completed that due diligence, asking for an extension of its option so it can prepare its DA, with absolutely no obligation for it to proceed with the purchase and with absolutely no financial consideration being offered to residents/ratepayers should it decide not to proceed.

When council met to consider the Romfam request on May 17 it was moved into ‘secret session’.

The matter has returned to the agenda for Wednesday, August 16 with the council already agreeing to an extension of the option by a further seven and a half months.

Residents and ratepayers might wonder where the benefit is when council has agreed to a price for the lots of $1.3m, 35 per cent below their value a decade ago, and notwithstanding current property values in Merimbula have never been higher.  

Fraser Buchanan BVSR&RA