Are we the only ones in Merimbula who can see that the road works around a main thoroughfare (the bridge) are so substandard that they are going to cause an accident or at least damage to vehicles. There must be some people who work at council who live in the area. Do something about it
The Bega Valley Shire Residents & Ratepayers Association (BVSRRA) has publicly opposed the sale by council of the old library site in Main Street, Merimbula, arguing that it would better serve the interests of the community if the land was converted for use as public parking, at least until such time as the Woolworths development is completed.
The BVSRRA believes that the Main Street sites being sold for retail development by council would provide parking for up to 140 cars, at a time when 180 car spaces will shortly disappear for up to two years as the Woolworths development proceeds.
The conversion of the Main Street sites would provide almost immediate alleviation to Merimbula’s mounting parking nightmare, while doing so at a relatively minor cost of around $250,000.
After factoring in the land value, the cost of providing this parking to ratepayers amounts to about $11,000 per space, significantly less than the cost of providing alternate parking elsewhere in the town, which would have to be in a high-rise format costing an estimated $40,000 per space.
The BVSRRA was surprised to learn that the decision not to utilise the Main Street site for parking was not apparently taken by council, but rather by council’s director strategy and business “under delegation in line to policy”.
The association is concerned that the decision not to utilise the Main Street sites for parking, even on a temporary basis, could wind-up costing residents and ratepayers as much as $4 million more to achieve the same outcome. The BVSRRA is even more concerned that decisions of such magnitude are not being scrutinised, let alone approved by council.
Once the outcome of Saturday’s election is known, the association intends to write to all councillors, calling-on them to initiate a review of council’s current delegations, with a view to ensuring that major decisions that could give rise to significant costs to ratepayers are made the subject of approval by the elected council.
The Federal government is cutting $2 billion in funding for aged care, with the cuts targeting people in residential aged care with the highest care needs.
As one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit providers of aged care services, UnitingCare Australia is deeply concerned at the impact of these cuts on the health and well-being of frail older people.
Our modelling shows that the average resident will have the funding to meet their needs cut by $6650 a year, and the frailest by as much as $18,000 a year.
Of equal concern is the flow-on effect of funding cuts of this size.
Public hospitals will face even greater pressure as older people wait longer to access residential care, with aged care providers forced to reconsider admitting people with complex health needs.
The aged care workforce will also suffer, as providers will be compelled to review, and potentially reduce, staffing levels.
This will affect nurses, allied health professionals and administrative staff and comes at a time of greatly increased demand for aged care services.
People in residential aged care are already suffering from a range of conditions such as dementia, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and mobility impairment.
They don’t need to suffer more as a result of these unfair cuts to aged care.
Martin J Cowling and Peter Bicknell, UnitingCare Australia
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