Merimbula Letters to the Editor, May 16

Time for coffee: The Finnerans, the Dobsons, the Dunns and the Goodchilds relax before the mental and emotional onslaught of their annual week of golf at Yarawonga.
Time for coffee: The Finnerans, the Dobsons, the Dunns and the Goodchilds relax before the mental and emotional onslaught of their annual week of golf at Yarawonga.

Protecting community

While Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) never stops crying poor, it also never seems to have a problem when it comes to providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in ratepayer-funded assistance for commercial developers.

It never seems to have a problem finding money to help local clubs with their infrastructure, as it did when it gave Pambula Merimbula Golf Club $150K in ratepayers’ funds to help with the renewal of its infrastructure. It’s never had a problem finding an extra $100K every year for the past few years to boost the promotional activities of Sapphire Coast Tourism (SCT), over and above what they were already taking from the ratepayers’ wallets.

It certainly didn’t have any difficulty in finding $63K to fund the creation of a fine piece of marketing propaganda aimed at attracting more commercial developers to the area, on the basis of “how easy” it is to do business with council.

It also didn’t have any difficulty coming-up with $25K a couple of years ago to fund a “talkfest” grandly referred to as an “Economic Summit” which, as far as the BVSRRA is aware, has not produced any tangible benefit for our community.

And it even managed to find $22K a couple of years ago to pay for lawyers to try to silence the no avail.

But, notwithstanding its “nimbleness” when it comes to finding funds to underwrite the costs of things important to it or the interests of those who it believes form its core constituency, it just couldn’t find a way to help protect and maintain a significant community service; namely the Bermagui community service, Meals on Wheels.

An article in this month’s Triangle details council’s refusal to resile from its decision to charge the long-standing community service provider $5000 a year in rent for the tiny space that it had previously occupied in the Bermagui Community Centre for a ‘peppercorn’ rent. Because of the intractable position adopted by council, Meals on Wheels has been forced to move out of the centre, jeopardising the service it has provided to the Bermagui community for more than 30 years.

It seems clear that the current council does not understand that its primary role is to protect and enhance the value of those things which make us a better community and not to destroy them.

The BVSRRA calls on BVSC to urgently review its policy regarding the level of council rents and charges currently being imposed on voluntary community groups and to take immediate steps to reinstate the arrangements applying to Meals on Wheels in respect to its previous tenancy at the Bermagui Community Centre.

John Richardson, BVSRRA

Thanks to community

On behalf of the Leukaemia Foundation, I would like to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to Bega District News readers for their incredible support of this year’s 20th World’s Greatest Shave.

The extraordinary people who shaved, cut or coloured their hair plus all their generous sponsors have now raised close to an incredible $5million in NSW alone. This will help the Leukaemia Foundation continue to provide its vital services that will make a genuine difference to local families facing blood cancer.

These services include free accommodation, transport, emotional support and disease specific education to Australians and their families as they find their way through some of the darkest days of their lives.

Approximately 20,000 people have taken part in this year’s milestone campaign and have shaved or cut away an estimated 7000kg of hair, helping to create wigs for cancer patients. 

Thanks to our partners at Sustainable Salons Australia, for the first time shorter hair will now also be used to create ‘hair booms’ which will be used to soak up potential oil spills at sea.

Bill Petch, CEO Leukaemia Foundation