Bega Valley Shire Councillors pride ourselves on the differences of opinion in the chamber, that is after all what you get in a democracy.
We have nine councillors elected who represent diverse interests from across the shire and who bring a range of experience and expertise to our decision making and to that end I believe the views of much of the community are now being heard – perhaps more than ever. As long as debate remains respectful and productive then you are getting what you elected.
As a group we have been through rigorous induction programs, shire tours and background briefings on shire assets and services from each department of council. We have had to work through the budget, delivery plan and resourcing strategy, and this is all within the first eight months of the newly elected council. There is no shortage of council committees, community meetings and events that we each attend on top of the regular council commitments.
We pride ourselves on debate and questions being asked within the council chamber so the public is aware of the reasoning and questions we have. Is it pretty? Not all the time. Is it fun? Not all the time. But we put our hands up for the job and we are getting on with it. If you have nine councillors agreeing on everything, no debate and nothing for the public to see then the community could rightly question our processes. If you have no decisions being made and nothing being achieved then quite rightly that “dysfunctional” label may apply because we would have failed in our undertaking to represent the community.
The idea we vote on "party political lines" implies that we get our direction from a higher authority. There is only one party endorsed councillor representing the Greens and this was noted on her election nomination and in all material since. All councillors vote on a combination of perceived merit, our ethics and of course governing for the greater good. I know that all current councillors have the community's best interest at heart.
One thing councillors certainly agreed on this week, was to let the community know that disagreement is a healthy part of the democratic process. Debate can only be a good thing for the community.
Your nine elected councillors
On behalf of the Pambula-Merimbula Country Women’s Association I want to register our support for building the proposed new theatre at Twyford Hall in Merimbula.
We are keen to see it built sooner, rather than later.
The Twyford Theatre project has been talked about for many years and throughout it has received enthusiastic local support. This is due in large part to the management of the current facility by local volunteers from the arts community and user groups. We understand the current plans have taken a while to get to where they are now because the current Twyford Hall committee have worked carefully to get it right.
We understand a petition urging council to support the theatre project is being organised. We will be encouraging our members to sign.
Marjorie MacKnight Pambula-Merimbula CWA
Competition to Rex Airlines, I don’t think so. I received very poor public relations at Essendon airport booking desk. The male clerk was extremely rude and wouldn’t move my booked flying date to a later date despite support that I was medically unfit to fly. I was told the $159 fare would not be refunded.
Rex were happy to alter the date to a forward one if the original booking had been with them, which was done to fly home to Merimbula.
If this discourtesy is how you treat your clients and being in opposition to Rex you will not be in competition long.