Merimbula Letters to the Editor, September 16

We will recover together

This article paints a grim picture of doom and gloom (Bushfires and COVID take their toll, 9/9).

Bushfires loss of summer and COVID loss of Easter trade came on the back of the Tathra 2018 fires.

We have learnt so much, we are resilient and now our local businesses, community members and local, regional and state decision makers understand the importance of regional tourism to our economy.

We can and we will recover just like we have previously.

This time we will build back to better and with our community and council behind us we can showcase our beautiful area to new markets and encourage domestic travel.

We didn't rely heavily on international tourism in our LGA, so an increase in visitor numbers on the road In regional NSW is just what we need to lead to a full recovery.

Let's hold hope, plan carefully and work hard, we are all in this together.

Carmen Risby, Tathra

A mega pod of humpback whales feed near Merimbula on the weekend. For more photos and videos of this incredible event visit Merimbula Marina on Facebook.

A mega pod of humpback whales feed near Merimbula on the weekend. For more photos and videos of this incredible event visit Merimbula Marina on Facebook.

Double duties

Kristy McBain should stand down immediately from Bega Valley Shire Council to avoid being perceived as double-dipping, continuing to draw the stipend for serving on council, while also getting paid as the Member of Parliament for Eden-Monaro.

Arguably, her insistence to continue on council serves the expedient partisan political purpose to preserve the Green/Left majority on the current BVSC and shore up the miniscule margin that won in the federal election.

How can she fulfil the double duties as a federal MP and a local councillor? What comes first: the Bega shire ratepayers or the Eden-Monaro voters?

The call to consider her position is urgent, as the BVS councillors will vote on Wednesday (September 16) on who will lead BVSC as mayor for the coming 12 months.

If Ms McBain were to participate in the mayoral vote and resign afterwards as a councillor, her decision would probably install a Left/Green mayor who has the casting vote, thus making our elected shire council unrepresentative of how the local electorate voted.

Such a ploy would be nothing short of unethical and politically dubious. The voters of the Bega Valley Shire deserve better.

Jon Gaul, Tura Beach, Liberal Party member

Uplifting maiden speech

It was uplifting to read the report of Kristy McBain's maiden speech to parliament (Emotional first speech, 4/9). As a former mayor of Bega Valley Shire, Ms McBain has experienced first-hand the devastation of last season's fires and understands the role climate change played in their intensity.

Let's hope Ms McBain can talk sense into Joel Fitzgibbon, fellow Labor MP, who is blinkered by coal and doesn't seem to give a hoot about global warming.

Ray Peck, Hawthorn, Vic

Giving and taking

My entire property was destroyed in the recent fires. Council generously granted $500 to help recover my life and then recovered most of it by removing the pensioner concession on my current rates because I'm not living there.

I'm boarding in Eden trying to save up to rebuild as I was uninsured!

Frank Swinfield, Kiah

Lack of planning, preparedness

When we went to evacuate approximately 4am, not one person out of four who were at the roadblock knew how to direct us, did not know where Bermagui's direction was from the Cobargo pub to Bega roadblock. The Cobargo/Bermagui turn-off was only 30 yards from the roadblock - we were absolutely dumbfounded.

They sent us to Narooma but had to turn back after about 3km - then back to the roadblock and I told them I was going to Bermagui - what a bloody outcome.

Edward Stulpinas, Cobargo