There were questions coming thick and fast at the Andrew Constance-Member for Bega, village meeting held on November 21st in Tuross Head at the Tuross Tennis courts. The Tuross Head Progress Association provided Minister Constance with a comprehensive list of issues they wanted to raise such as: The Highway intersection and its recent track record as a high accident zone. John Tilbrook, Vice President and spokesperson for the THPA advised that there were concerns by the Tuross Head community regarding the hazardous T intersection of the Princess highway and Hector McWilliam Drive. The THPA wanted to raise this with the Member for Bega ahead of a possible on-site meeting with the RMS and THPA executive that is being orchestrated by the Eurobodalla Deputy Mayor, Anthony Mayne who is also the Chair of the Eurobodalla Traffic Committee. The possibility for State funding of skating facilities for Tuross youth Andrew Constance was advised by members of the THPA that Council had been "sitting on its hands for far too long ignoring the requests of the Tuross Head parents wanting a skate park for the town" . He was told that the community had asked where a facility might be allowed and what type of structures would be allowed so that these could be costed. Mr Constance was also told that the community was more than capable of raising funds to cover the project and didn't accept Council's continued irrelevant responses of "We don't have the money for that". At previous THPA meetings it was considered that Evans Park would be unsuitable as it is too near adjoining residential housing and would mean that it would be co-located in close proximity to the pre-schoolers playground equipment with concerns of unsocial behavior, language etc. Other possible locations presented to the Member for Bega were: (Option 1) in the southern most point of McWilliam Park adjacent to the One – Tree Lookout carpark, or (Option 2) in the Kyla Park Sports Precinct behind Lake Street between the Tennis Courts and Hector McWilliam Drive where it could be easily observed by passing traffic and passing police patrols. Mr Constance advised that there were many grants available such as specific sporting grants or Community Building Partnership grants that the THPA could apply for. The THPA will now be formally requesting that Council come to the table and organise the community meeting that was promised over a year ago to discuss "Where" and "What" The possibility for funding a hard stand area for launching and boat trailer parking at Coila Lake to be used by commercial and recreational fishers. Fishers, both commercial and recreational, using their 4WD vehicles and trailers have dug up the sandy shoreline where boats are launched. The THPA suggested to Minister Constance that funds raised from NSW Fishing Licences could be a source of funding for the repair of this important launching site whilst the lake water level is at a low ebb following the opening of the lake. The hard stand area would also service the recently State funded sailing club facility that will house the sailing club’s safety boat as well as two Hobie Cat Sail Boats for use by the public who wish to be taught how to sail. As such the hard stand would be a natural extension of the project. The THPA will now be writing formally to Council to request the project go ahead and that the extent and treatment be determined so that estimated costs can be established. Once done the THPA will then approach the Minister with a request for possible funding.
Other Questions asked of the Minister were of a broader nature. There was discussion regarding the sustainable fishing of Coila Lake. The meeting was advised that the Minister for Fisheries is currently looking at the State as a whole and the commercial licensing, undertaking a structural reform of the industry and is well aware of the local problems the South Coast has with the imposed limitations being placed on its commercial fishers by the expanding Marine Park that is forcing the same amount of licenses to more compacted areas such as Coila Lake. Andrew Constance requested patience while the reform is being carried out and appreciation of the stresses that local commercial fishers are going through while the livelihood of their industry is being weighed and considered. Extending the Seniors subsidised RED CARD for public transport into the ACT There was discussion of the NSW Red Card being available to Eurobodalla senior citizens on bus trips and the difficulty of using the Card for access across borders into Canberra as Murrays Coaches are not part of the subsidy scheme. Minister Constance advised the gathering that recent deregulations of the bus-line industry has created new opportunities for smaller buses to work under new rules and that there was now potential for change across the region that could see point to point services that are being adopted around the world. The Tuross Boatramp. This issue is covered in more detail in this article