In reference to the discussion and proposition by some of the new council to purchase the old Bega hospital site, personally I would welcome the expansion of educational facilities in the region, including tertiary and vocational, if those accountable for providing such services believe there are sound reasons for pursuing them.
I am sure everyone would welcome the necessary investment from both the state and federal governments in funding such facilities, but again on the basis that there is a sound business case for doing so.
I do not consider it appropriate to use ratepayers’ funds to purchase surplus real estate from the state government, allegedly to support such a proposal, when clearly it is a state/federal government responsibility which should be worked-through with the relevant providers. The suggestion that the community should fund the purchase of the old hospital site to underwrite the establishment of an educational facility is ridiculous and totally outside the responsibility of local government, in particular where there isn't even a business case on the table.
Council put up a similar argument when it purchased the Auswide building in Merimbula, even today claiming that they are running a “learning hub”, when in fact, they are running a simple serviced office facility as a subsidy for training organisations from outside the shire to come and offer their training programs, while undercutting the activities of our local TAFE organisation, one of the finest institutions we have.
If we ask the question "who benefited" from the Auswide purchase, it was the organisation's creditors, including the ANZ Bank and state training services, certainly not the shire's residents and ratepayers.
It is a nice idea to promote the growth of the education sector in our shire. I think the majority of people support that. But I don’t believe the people will join you in supporting a transparent attempt by the state government to offload an unwanted asset on the unsuspecting residents of the shire.
I am a member of the RSL Sub branch and as a non profit organisation the Returned Servicemen’s League or the Sub branches were never permitted to own or operate poker machines. As a consequence Club Ltds were formed, made up of non Sub branch members, to own and operate the machines on the premises owned by the Sub branches.
In 1995 Club Ltd purchased the present club. This club is wholly owned by the approx 7000 members. The RSL Sub Branch does not own any part of this club. As a result the Sub Branch sold its building on the corner of Market and Main Streets and has a healthy bank balance because of it.
The two clubs came to an understanding with a memorandum in 1997. The first agreement was that all RSL Sub Branch members must become Club LTD members. Then Club LTD agreed to allow an office for the Sub Branch to operate, free phone, printing facilities etc, subsidise state RSL fees and allow Sub Branch a monthly meeting on the premises all free of charge. Sub Branch asked that RSL be included in Club name, hence – Merimbula RSL Club LTD.
The current and carried over constitution requires that four of seven board members be Sub Branch members (service members), as the Sub Branch does not own any part of the club this should be changed.
Average attendance at monthly Sub Branch meetings is 30 members, the four members who nominate for the board are automatically elected, leaving only three positions to be voted by Club Ltd members at the AGM. I would encourage all RSL Club Ltd members to attend the AGM at 8pm October 26 to vote on a change to the constitution. This would require all nominations for the seven board positions to be made by the RSL Club Ltd members and be voted on by all members attending the AGM.
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